By Shaun Davey
Although Cardiff City missed out narrowly on those play-off spots, they ended up in a respectable Eighth placed position considering the teams above them all had more consistent seasons.
‘Consistency’ was the word that undoubtedly plagued the Bluebirds campaign but that’s not to say there wasn’t a few highs along the way (there was not many) but Gair Rhydd has picked a few facts and key players which we hope will mean Cardiff can build on this season and look for Premier League promotion next year.
In Fairness, Cardiff had a pretty solid home record, they only lost two Sky Bet Championship games all season, winning 12, and they will hope that the Cardiff City Stadium can remain a fortress into the next campaign.
Their defensive record is also looking promising, they managed to keep nine home clean sheets; most notably down to one hero of the season; David Marshall between the sticks. The Scot had yet another remarkable campaign, and few would bet against him being the best keeper in the division, The Bluebirds will hope to wade off any circling interest from Premier League poachers for his signature this summer.
The best game of the season had to be when Chris Houghton’s promotion chasing Brighton came too town, Cardiff eventually won the game 4-1 and in all honesty the display could have merited more goals. A rampant and vibrant display from the Bluebirds that day; put in form Brighton to the sword.
The visitors were made to look average and the Cardiff fans found their voice and to get four goals against a well-fancied side was an excellent result for Russell Slade and his men. It was the inability to follow this result up which was disappointing considering this performance showed what the Cardiff side were capable off.
There were also more promising results after the Christmas period; Cardiff agonisingly lost to Boro and after a couple of hard-thought victories and a valiant display against table toppers Burnley at Turf Moor; when they quite easily could have won that night. Fans started to believe again and Sheffield Wednesdays last play –off spot was not fair from sight.
Another highlight was Craig Noone’s brace away at Molineux, the midfielder expertly dispatching two clinical finishes and showing what the tricky winger did indeed have in his locker. It showed a glimpse of his quality and at the time; it felt like he could have pushed on to become one of the players of the season.
However, that award, should probably go down to solid centre back Matthew Connolly; who was a rock at the back all campaign. He consistently showed what qualities possesses, when he seized his chance when Bruno Manga was out injured. His leadership qualities shone through and he was a charismatic and encouraging professional to the young players ahead of him.
Young player of the season has to go to Joe Ralls, the young midfielder established himself into a very competitive starter for Slade’s side. More is hoped for the young talent; and fans will hope that he can add some goals to his game in the forthcoming campaign.
Other highlights of note, were the club being lifted from their ongoing transfer embargo; which came as excellent news for a club hoping to push forward. The news of Slade being moved upstairs also means a vacant managerial position becoming available and fans will hope that the right man is chosen over the coming months; so that he can come in with fresh ideas and some much needed fresh faces. Onwards and upwards Bluebirds!