EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

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EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:53 am

Meticulous Neil Harris' Cardiff City lockdown analysis, driving his wife mad, transfer plotting and the 'mini-season' play-off push

Exclusive: Bluebirds boss Neil Harris speaks about what he's been up to during coronavirus lockdown and his thoughts on when the season will resume

Wednesday 25th March 2020


The football might have been put on ice for the time being, but a football manager's work never stops.

Neil Harris is a manager who relishes being among his squad, he loves being out on the grass with his players and plotting the next victory.

Unfortunately, he won't be able to do that for quite some time.

The UK is currently on lockdown owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 and for the Bluebirds, and boss Harris, that means no training and no games.

It was announced last week that there will be no football until at least April 30, however it is widely believed that is an extremely conservative estimate, with more realistic timeframes pointing towards a June restart.

But Harris, as meticulous as ever, has been using the time to exercise his analytical muscles, having already re-watched every single Cardiff City game of which he has taken charge.


:bluebird: :bluebird: " READ BELOW FROM NEIL HARRIS " :bluebird: :bluebird:
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EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

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Re: NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:57 am

NEIL HARRIS:


"It's tough being away from the players and training ground, because ultimately my job is to prepare for games, manage players, staff and a football club," he told WalesOnline.

"If you're privileged to manage a very big club, the capital city of Wales, there's a lot of external factors that go with the job.

"So, at the moment, it's very difficult to do anything other than watch games of football on the laptop.

"I've gone back and watched through every game so far this season, since I took over, watched two to three games each of the nine opponents we've got left.

"I'm asking my staff to go through that, too, a mini-audit, really."

The end goal, of course, is to be as prepared as possible for when his players get back on to the training pitch at The Vale, which he conceded is still a long way off.
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Re: EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:59 am

Harris is also using the time to bring forward tasks he might have carried out later in the season, such as identifying transfer targets for next season and thrashing out a strategy for when the window opens this summer, whenever that might be.

It is apparent that he is desperate to get back to normality, as we all are. "I'm probably driving my wife mad already! She's not used to having me at home," he added.


But Harris constantly reiterated the need for stringent health and safety measures in this current climate. He is constantly checking up on his players and is in regular contact with senior squad members, who can relay messages back to him about how his men are coping with the new normal of self-isolation.
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Re: EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:00 am

NEIL HARRIS:


"I've spoken to a lot of the senior players within the group, just to touch base with them first and foremost, to make sure they and their families are OK," he added.

"They spend a lot of time on the phone on social media with the younger players in the group as well.

"As a group of staff, we make sure everybody gets what they need and are well looked after.

"In the main core of the group, we have had no positive cases of coronavirus. There has been self-isolation, obviously, by players and staff, just as a sensible thing to do.

"They aren't able to get out and exercise or follow fitness programmes (in the same way), so it's balancing how much we do and not push themselves too hard.

"When the season does get going, and it is a when, it'll be a sustained period of a lot of games of football to play in a short space of time."
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Re: EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:01 am

One suggestion which appears to be gathering momentum is to play some, if not all, of the remaining nine games behind closed doors, perhaps even at a neutral venue to limit gatherings outside the stadia to aid public safety.

It would mean Cardiff, who sit two points adrift of the play-off spots, would be without the support of the brilliant Bluebirds fans, who our columnist Nathan Blake believes have played a significant part in this top-six push.

And while Harris concedes the idea of playing without fans is not ideal by any stretch, he knows health and safety comes first in this situation and if that's what it takes for City to get a fair crack at the last nine games, so be it.
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Re: EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:02 am

NEIL HARRIS:


"First and foremost, health and safety comes first, that's paramount, we know that," he said. "We know the importance of TV revenue, the revenue of supporters being at games.

"But just the general factor of when lockdown finishes, people want to get back to everyday life, how important football can be in everyday life. The fans want to be at games, the players want the fans to be at games to give that atmosphere.

"Staff, we don't want to hear each other's voices on the bench, we want to hear the atmosphere in the stadium. Tempo of games will change because of a lack of atmosphere.

"But, if it means to complete a season and get the right outcomes for the season and keep everybody safe, you have to say, 'Right, we have to play behind closed doors'.

"It's certainly not an ideal scenario, but the measures at the moment are tough across the world.

"It's something the football authorities have got to deal with going along. It will be a really tough call for everybody, but if it is the right call, we have to abide by it."
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Re: EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:03 am

Harris appreciates the mountain of tough decisions the football authorities are having to make on a daily basis and the club are liaising with the EFL every couple of days to ensure the most up-to-date guidance is being strictly followed.

The injured players are in constant contact with the medical staff, so that they can adjust their treatment and rehabilitation plans in these unprecedented times.

The likes of Lee Tomlin, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Greg Cunningham are all long-term injury lay-offs, but with the season being pushed back further, there is a tentative hope all three might be available for the restart.
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Re: EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:04 am

NEIL HARRIS:

"It's far too early to talk about players being ready," he said. "They have got to train for a sustained period before being ready for us.

"I wouldn't dare put that on these guys, to be fit, because we are not in group training at the moment.

"The longer this waiting period goes on, yes, the more chance these players will be fit because the bodies will be healing more all the time.

"But until we get back on the grass it's just a guessing game."

It has been a 'rollercoaster' of a season for fans, Harris said, but, looking at the league table with just nine games left to play, Cardiff are certainly in with a shout of the play-offs.

Yes, there are tough fixtures to come, Leeds United, Preston, Bristol City and Fulham among them, but it is almost a time for the slate to be wiped clean.
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Re: EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:04 am

NEIL HARRIS:


Or, as Harris puts it, the 'mini-season' which will define in which division they will play their football next term.

"I think we have worked extremely hard, fought tooth and nail (to be where we are)," he said.

"We've played really well in spells, not so well in other spells, we have worked extremely hard as a group to shift the mentality.

"The boys have put a lot of effort in, trained a lot of extra sessions, to get to where we are, touching distance of a play-off spot, albeit with nine games to go still.

"But we just want an opportunity to finish the season.

"If we are good enough over the last nine games, and we get a little bit of luck, I feel it was certainly avoiding us for a period before the break because of refereeing decisions, then we will have a good chance.

"We have got as good a chance as anybody, in my opinion, from fourth downwards to get into those play-offs."
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My 7th Book is Available Now "MY STORY"

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Re: EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby TopCat CCFC » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:35 pm

It's a waiting Game .
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Re: EXCLUSIVE NEIL HARRIS:

Postby Sven » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:43 pm

TopCat CCFC wrote:It's a waiting Game .

Yes indeed; and whilst we will welcome back those with current injuries, we must remember that other teams will have their own players back too

An interesting end to season to follow... eventually :ayatollah:
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