‘Absolutely he will’ 'Top-Six'

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‘Absolutely he will’ 'Top-Six'

Postby Forever Blue » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:29 pm

‘Absolutely he will’ – Former Millwall boss Neil Harris will come under pressure if he doesn’t deliver Cardiff City top-six challenge


Millwall 24/7 / News ADen

Friday November 20, 2020




NEIL Harris was a surprise choice for many to replace Neil Warnock as Cardiff manager last November.

But Harris perhaps outperformed expectations by taking the Bluebirds from 16th after his first game in charge – a 2-2 draw at Charlton – to a fifth-place finish.

In the play-offs Cardiff lost the home leg of their semi-final 2-0 to Fulham, but they pushed the Cottagers all the way before a 4-3 aggregate defeat cost Harris what would have been a third Wembley appearance in five years.

But this season hasn’t seen that progress maintained.



This week, the NewsAtDen spoke to sports journalist Tom Coleman , who reports on Cardiff, to find out what the feeling is about Harris across the border.

NewsAtDen: What was the reaction among fans and local journalists when Neil Harris was appointed?

Tom Coleman: Lukewarm. I think there was a feeling that Harris was at best a sideways step from previous boss Neil Warnock, who sadly seemed to lose his way a bit towards the end of his reign here. I think it’s safe to say he wasn’t the first choice for many supporters, many of whom would have probably preferred a bigger name to take the club to the next level.

But to his immense credit, Harris has won over quite a few of his critics. Yes, this season has been a bit frustrating, but last season’s play-off spot was certainly well deserved and, on the whole, he’s done a pretty good job.




NAD: Cardiff beat Millwall to the signing of Kieffer Moore in the summer – how has he done so far?

TC: Brilliantly. It’s not an exaggeration to say that he’s already an integral member of this side. Cardiff have lacked a proper out-and-out goal-scorer for years, and Moore arguably fills that void. For a fanbase that still remembers the days of Robert Earnshaw, Jay Bothroyd and Michael Chopra, there’s a real feeling he can be their latest goal-scoring hero.




NAD: Has the summer transfer business improved the side?

TC: Yes. As well as Moore, Cardiff brought Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson on board, which (on paper at least) has given them one of the most exciting frontlines in the division, although keeping playmaker Lee Tomlin fit has admittedly proved tricky so far this term.

Sheyi Ojo and Jordi Osei-Tutu have also proved to be useful additions, although they are a little too reliant on the latter given the departures of Dion Sanderson and Jazz Richards. The loss of livewire winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (contract terminated for breach) will also be considered a blow, although his exit admittedly had little to do with football or finances.



NAD: Harris was often criticised at Millwall for direct play and not very exciting football – what style has he implemented at Cardiff?

TC: Well I’m not sure you can get more direct than the football played under Warnock! When he was unveiled, Harris was keen to stress that he wasn’t simply going to be a continuation of the old regime. In fairness, he has tried to implement a more attractive approach, and I think his decision to bring a playmaker like Tomlin in from the cold is testament to that.

But Cardiff have seldom looked a free-flowing attacking force, and there has definitely been some dissatisfaction from supporters at times, although on the whole I think many are still behind him.





NAD: It’s only three wins from 11 in the league – what has been behind that slow start?

TC: Good question. I think it’s been a combination of factors, but for me it essentially boils down to too many square pegs in too many round holes. For example, the absence of Tomlin has seen Wilson employed in the number 10 role, and he’s done very well there, but for me his best position is out wide given he’s by far the best crosser of a ball Cardiff have at their disposal.

Joe Ralls has been tried there too without much success, while the full-back situation has also looked tricky. Injuries have seen Leandro Bacuna often filling in. He’s done a fairly decent job, but his absence in the middle of the park has left them lacking that little bit of industry and zip in midfield. Then, of course, they’re just giving away really sloppy goals at the moment, and have largely found it difficult to start games on the front foot this season, particularly at home.

NAD: Former Cardiff player Graham Kavanagh recently questioned what Harris’ playing philosophy is – was that justified?

TC: To an extent. I think there’s certainly more to come, particularly with the additions made.

However, I can see what he means on his point about the philosophy. Part of Cardiff’s problem, in my opinion, is their reliance on individuals to produce the moment of magic needed to win a game. A little more cohesion in the final third would go a long way to easing those concerns.




NAD: Could Harris come under pressure if they are still some way off the top six by Christmas?

TC: Absolutely he will. Chairman Mehmet Dalman said as much on the final day of the domestic window. The board really went out on a limb to land Wilson and, while the financial package wasn’t as large as some have made out, his signing still took a hefty effort from the hierarchy.

I think there’s a feeling in the club that Harris now has all the tools to mount a top-six challenge, and they will want to see some returns sooner rather than later.



NAD: Finally, a score prediction?

TC: Despite some of the doom and gloom, I quite fancy Cardiff here. Millwall have obviously drawn a blank in their last three games, and Cardiff have been fairly decent on the road. Like City, I get the feeling Millwall must be suffering at the lack of fans this term. The atmosphere at The Den is, in my opinion, one of the best in English football, and visiting teams must be thankful to not be playing in front of a crowd that’s always up for it.

I’m sure the return of Harris wouldn’t have gone unnoticed either!

If it clicks for Cardiff in the final third in the way it did against Barnsley, I can see them getting a result.




I’ll be optimistic and go Cardiff to win 2-0.
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‘Absolutely he will’ 'Top-Six'

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Re: ‘Absolutely he will’ 'Top-Six'

Postby fred keenor » Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:18 pm

Lose this weekend and we could be in bottom four, then he will be under pressure.
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Re: ‘Absolutely he will’ 'Top-Six'

Postby montyblue » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:24 pm

FRED
If we end up as you say bottom 4 surely he has to go after the game or do we wait till we are completly bottom
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Re: ‘Absolutely he will’ 'Top-Six'

Postby fred keenor » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:32 pm

We will comfortably finish mid table , no where near relegation and unfortunately nowhere near the top 6.
Though with 2 tough away games coming up, the pressure will be on and rightly so.
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Re: ‘Absolutely he will’ 'Top-Six'

Postby pembroke allan » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:03 pm

fred keenor wrote:Lose this weekend and we could be in bottom four, then he will be under pressure.



How? Coventry who in bottom 4 got 8 points can only get 11 if win? So be above them plus need4 other matches yo ho against us yo drops 5th from bottom... but on positive note we win and we go upwards a bit.
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Re: ‘Absolutely he will’ 'Top-Six'

Postby TopCat CCFC » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:58 pm

pembroke allan wrote:
fred keenor wrote:Lose this weekend and we could be in bottom four, then he will be under pressure.



How? Coventry who in bottom 4 got 8 points can only get 11 if win? So be above them plus need4 other matches yo ho against us yo drops 5th from bottom... but on positive note we win and we go upwards a bit.


Spot on Al - No way would we be in the bottom 4 - the maths say so ;)
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