‘ A raft of changes ‘

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‘ A raft of changes ‘

Postby Forever Blue » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:41 am

“ A raft of changes “

By Glen Williams

Team selection is crucial and while hindsight is a wonderful thing, the combinations were wrong over the last two games.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, there is hope captain Sean Morrison will return for Blackburn this weekend. He has been a colossal miss over the last two games, at both ends of the pitch and in terms of leadership.

Cardiff have lacked that aerial threat without him in the opposition box and have looked far too open and accommodating at the other end of the pitch. He comes straight back in if fit and ready.

That, of course, changes things in the backline. While it is commendable that McCarthy has stuck with the players who he feels have done no wrong, it is high time to reintroduce Perry Ng.

Tom Sang has done well at right back and deserves to keep his spot in the team, but Cardiff have missed the go-forward and coolness in possession of Perry Ng on the other flank. That must be the starting wing-back combination.

It probably means Ciaron Brown drops out of the backline. He has done well since coming into the fold, but was way off the pace on Monday.

The central midfield combination which worked so well at the start has been largely unchanged, with Will Vaulks and Marlon Pack having dovetailed fairly well in there for the most part under McCarthy.

But they were overran and overstretched up at Hillsborough and it might be time for a little change-up. The problem is, Joe Ralls is a like-for-like replacement.

The right person in there is probably someone like Leandro Bacuna to add a bit of dynamism, athleticism and pace. However, McCarthy appears set on the idea he is more of a No.8 or No.10 than a No.6, so the chances of him dropping deeper look slim.

Further up the pitch, the two positions alongside Kieffer Moore are crucial.

Bacuna has been picked in each of the last two games in that playmaker role and has had little to show for it. Jonny Williams was far too deep when he was in possession against the Owls and he took a backwards touch far too often.

Harry Wilson was one of the better performers against Forest and was comfortably City's best player after he was introduced against Wednesday. He must start.

Ahead of him is where one of the strikers or wingers needs to start alongside Moore. Josh Murphy, Sheyi Ojo, Mark Harris or Max Watters. They are players with more pace to help Cardiff's pressing game, which has been lax in the last two fixtures, who can add just another attacking dimension, which has been woefully lacking over the last week.

Murphy missed the game on Monday through illness, although it is hoped he can return this weekend. If so, he should get the nod.

That dynamic front press through Moore, Wilson and Murphy worked so well not so long ago and that needs to be the case again.

Moore has looked shattered, some have noted, but much of that is due to the legwork he puts in during the press, which he has been doing largely on his own since the international break. He needs his partners in crime to ease that burden.

Cardiff's tactics are not going to change drastically over the next half a dozen games, despite the manager hinting that other teams might have worked them out.

They are still going to be direct and look for Moore at every possible opportunity and rely heavily on set pieces. So City need to revert back to just a few short weeks ago when it worked seamlessly, giving Moore the attacking support he needs.

If all goes well, fitness-wise and illness-wise, this is the side which could restore City's fortunes. Have your say below.

Cardiff XI : Phillips; Morrison, Flint, Nelson; Sang, Vaulks, Pack, Ng; Wilson; Murphy, Moore.
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‘ A raft of changes ‘


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