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GETTING TO KNOW: Cardiff City

17 August 2020

The next of our SkyBet Championship opponents we profile is Cardiff City...

Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium

Capacity: 33,316

Year Formed: 1899

Nickname: The Bluebirds

Most League Appearances: Phil Dwyer, 471. 1972-85

Most League Goals: Len Davies, 128. 1920-31

Record League win: 9-2 v Thames, 6th February 1932 – Division 3 (S)

Record defeat: 2-11 v Sheffield Utd, 1st January 1926 – Division 1

Last five years

2019/20:              5th in Championship – 73 points (Lost in Play-Off Semi-Final)

2018/19:               18th in Premier League – 34 points (Relegated)

2017/18:              2nd in Championship – 90 points (Promoted, below)

2016/17:               12th in Championship – 62 points

2015/16:               8th in Championship – 68 points

Manager

Cardiff City appointed Neil Harris as manager in November 2019, signing a deal until summer 2022 to succeed Neil Warnock.

The 43-year-old is Millwall’s all-time record goalscorer, having scored 138 goals in all competitions for the Lions. He has also made the fourth most appearances for the club, with 432 games.

Harris retired from professional football in June 2013 and took up a coaching role at Millwall. Having briefly acted as caretaker-manager in January 2014, Harris was given the same role in March 2015 and was confirmed as permanent manager of Millwall on 29th April 2015.

In two seasons as boss, his side finish 4th and 6th in League One – they were beaten Play-Off Finalists in the first year and won the Final in the second year to secure promotion.

Harris resigned in October 2019, and just over a month later joined Cardiff. He continued his impressive managerial record, guiding Cardiff to 5th in the Championship and a play-off semi-final spot. Over two legs they lost to eventual Play-Off winners Fulham.

Squad

Cardiff retain much experience from their last season in the Premier League in 2018/19. Neil Etheridge remains in goal, but Alex Smithies has usurped him as first-choice.

Joe Bennett and Sean Morrison are there still in defence, with newer recruit Curtis Nelson also a regular, plus other midfielders from their Premier League days including Junior Hoilett, Josh Murphy and Joe Ralls.

Bennett made the most appearances last season, followed by Hoilett and former Aston Villa man Leonardo Bacuna.

Goalscoring was a team effort for the Bluebirds, with no man reaching double figures in the league. Lee Tomlin netted 8 in 33 league games, while four players were just behind with seven goals – Robert Glatzel, Danny Ward, Junior Hoilett and Joe Ralls.

Cardiff defensive stalwart Matthew Connolly was released at the end of his contract, as were Jazz Richards and Omar Bogle amongst others. 

Welsh international forward Kieffer Moore was signed last week for an undisclosed fee from Wigan, while Tom Harris and Mark Sang agreed new deals. 

Familiar Face – Danny Ward:

Now a 28-year-old threatening winger or forward for Cardiff, memories of Ward at Coventry City may be more hazy for Sky Blues fans. He was signed in September 2010 at the age of 18 on loan from then Premier League side Bolton, three days after agreeing a new deal at the then Reebok Stadium.

Ward debuted in a 1-1 draw with Leicester at the Ricoh Arena on 11th September 2010 and would make four more appearances for the Sky Blues before injury cut his spell short.

He moved to Huddersfield in loan in March 2011, making the transfer permanent in July of that year. While at Huddersfield, Ward’s managers included current Sky Blues boss Mark Robins.

A spell at Rotherham followed from 2015-17, before Ward joined Cardiff in 2017 on a three-year deal. He has now played 68 games and scored 12 goals for the Bluebirds. With his contract at an end, Harris had said he was keen to keep Ward at the Club, but media reports have linked the winger with a move back to Huddersfield.

Connections:

Some of the players to have appeared for both sides include:

Willie Boland, Craig Bellamy, Ben Turner, Gavin Ward, Simon Haworth, Aron Gunnarsson, Jay Bothroyd, Dimi Konstantopoulos, Cecil McCaughey, Dave Bennett, Ian Gibson, John Williams, Robert Page, Dean Gordon, Ken Chisholm, Willo Flood.

Current Sky Blues keeper Ben Wilson played four games for Cardiff in 2015 and 2016.

Former City midfielder Terry Yorath managed the then Ninian Park side from November 1994 to March 1995, while Cardiff was the next stop for Phil Neal after he was relieved of the reins at Highfield Road – his spell in the hot-seat at Cardiff being from January to October 1996. Next up was former Sky Blues midfielder Kenny Hibbitt from 1996 to 1998, having also been briefly Head Coach before Neal prior to a Director of Football role at Ninian Park.

Bobby Gould lasted just 9 games under Cardiff’s colourful chairman Sam Hammam in 2000, with future Sky Blues assistant Alan Cork next in the chair from October 2000 to February 2002.

Former Sky Blues defender Dave Jones was in charge from May 2005 to May 2011, while finally Russell Slade was Cardiff boss from October 2014 to May 2016 – going on to manage the Sky Blues from December 2016 to March 2016.  

  

CCFC v Cardiff City Head to Head: Won – 18, Drew – 12, Lost – 21

 

Last Time We Met – Coventry City 1-2 Cardiff City, 13th August 2014, League Cup First Round

The Sky Blues were beaten 2-1 at Sixfields Stadium in their first ‘home’ game of the season in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Guido Burgstaller and a Ryan Haynes own goal put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Cardiff two in front, before sub Shaun Miller grabbed an 83rd minute goal for Steven Pressley’s side.

Lee Burge and Jack Finch made their first competitive starts, while James Maddison was introduced in the 68th minute for his first Sky Blues appearance.

Team: Lee Burge, Jordan Willis, Danny Pugh (Ryan Haynes 50), Andrew Webster (c), Jordan Clarke, Jack Finch, Jim O'Brien, Danny Swanson, John Fleck, Billy Daniels (Shaun Miller 60), Josh McQuoid (James Maddison 68)

Subs: Ryan Allsop (GK), George Thomas, Aaron Phillips, Ivor Lawton

Fact:

Cardiff City played their first games in European competition in the short-lived Friendship Cup in the 1961-62 season. The Bluebirds won 4-2 away to French side RC Lens in December and followed that up with a 2-0 win at Ninian Park in March – leaving them 6-2 winners on aggregate.

The Football League clubs won the second edition of the Anglo-French trophy by winning the series, 2 aggregate victories to 1.


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