And, yet again, I get proved wrong as City win at Derby in seven goal spectacular!

In the last couple of years I’ve begun to suspect that I’ve been falling out of love with football to some extent. I watch far less live televised games than I used to and with me being about 95 per cent sure that I’m going to ditch my Sky subscription when my contract runs out with them in a few months time, I’ll soon be watching even less of it.

The truth is, returning to a diet of Match of the Day with, hopefully, Football League highlights continuing to be shown on one of the old style terrestrial channels, plus the odd live match thrown in doesn’t bother me – it’s how I used to watch football on television before Sky Sports channels came along and I think I’ll miss their cricket coverage more than the football.

On further reflection, it’s probably more true to say that I’ve fallen out of love with modern day televised football coverage (not sure I was ever in love with in the first place mind) – this very funny sketch encapsulates all that is wrong with it in my opinion..

No, thinking about it more, I’m not falling out of love with the game of football – how can I when it has this incredible, never ending, capacity to flummox you, frustrate you and also make you look a right idiot!

Early in my piece on Cardiff City’s fine 2-0 win at Leeds on Saturday, I confessed that I was finding it hard to “construct” my report, while also making the observation that people seem to find it easier to write and speak about their team’s defeats than their victories.

However, in the end, I was quite pleased with what I came up with as I used the Leeds game and the previous one with Norwich to give what I was convinced was an accurate assessment of Cardiff City’s strengths and weaknesses as the season moved into it’s final stages.

Yes, I was feeling a little smug as I concluded that we had rediscovered last season’s defensive competency, but our lack of creativity, along with the absence of a regular goal scorer was, in all likelihood, going to consign us to the mid to lower reaches of the 2016/17 Championship, but, at least, relegation should cease to be a possibility.

I’d got this City team sussed alright as I settled down to listen to their game at moneybags Derby County. I’d predicted a draw a couple of weeks ago, but was now thinking that the three points against Leeds had given us a bit of breathing space and so was edging towards a low scoring loss with honour, similar to the ones we suffered recently at Brighton and Reading, against a home team desperate for the three points as their season showed signs of becoming another one where all of their transfer spending (surely in breach of the FFP regulations?) was not going to deliver promotion.

So, what do we end up getting? An amazing 4-3 City win featuring a comeback from 2-0 down and a penalty winner in added time, that’s what! This is why I’m sat here at one o clock in the morning typing this piece – there are things, not health related, going on in my life at the moment that can lead to nights where sleep doesn’t come easily, but they’re not why I’m wide awake at the moment, I’m wide awake because I’ve still not come down from my team winning a football game in a manner which I thought was beyond them.

In fact, given our perceived shortcomings in the attacking side of the game, I was of the opinion that the game was beyond us as early as the seventeenth minute as Derby, with generous help from the defence that had so impressed only three days earlier, cantered into a two goal lead.

Kadeem Harris’ two goals doubled his tally for us in the five years he’s been at the club – it’s taken an awfully long time, but he now looks like an important member of the first team squad.*

Something I’ve been convinced of for a few months now is that we are not a team that gets thrashed, but I wasn’t so sure about that after Sean Morrison sloppily gave away a corner from which he was beaten by his former Reading colleague Alex Pearce (he’d also show that same puzzling weakness in the air when defending, that was present through much of the first half of the season, again for Derby’s third goal) as Allan McGregor’s fine save did not get the reward it deserved, because no one was close enough to Julian de Sart to prevent him from tapping in.

If Derby’s second goal had a strong element of luck to it as Tom Ince’s mishit shot turned into a defence splitting pass, from which Darren Bent could not miss, the room given our former transfer target just outside the penalty area and the way Matt Connolly allowed Bent to get goalside of him were further examples of the sort of defending I thought we’d left behind us sometime around Christmas.

McGregor had to make another good save to prevent Ince making it 3-0, but City were also beginning to get some encouragement that there could still be a chance of them getting back into the game.

Before Saturday, a Derby defence that had conceded just twenty two goals in their first twenty nine league games would have been very confident about doing enough during the remaining seventy three minutes to ensure they would win with something to spare. However, while the three second half goals they scored on Saturday to maintain their record of not having lost at home since September captured the headlines, the fact that Bristol  City had scored three of their own before half time and had spurned plenty of chances to add to their tally, offered the clue that Derby’s previously rock solid backline were going through something of a crisis of confidence.

City initially began to get some joy down the flanks as Kadeem Harris, carrying on from where he had left off against Leeds, showed he had it in him to get by his marker. The winger, who is enjoying his best spell at Cardiff since his arrival five years ago, forced Scott Carson to save well and, with the rejuvenated Craig Noone becoming a factor on the right and Kenneth Zohore putting in his now customary hard working shift through the middle, it was possible to detect, even on the radio, that the atmosphere within the stadium was starting to change.

For a few years now, Derby have had to try to cope with something that City have barely experienced this season – a sense of expectation from their fans.

Joe Ralls slots home the winning penalty and City have completed a winning double on the grounds of promotion challengers within three days – the two matches at Leeds and Derby drew a combined attendance of 58,000, the vast majority of which must be heartily sick of us!*

Although they can look mightily impressive at times and give the impression that they are coping just fine with the pressure of being expected to win every time they play on their own pitch, Derby can also look completely weighed down by it at other times and City were now doing enough to provide a stiff test of their host’s character.

Perhaps, the second half would have turned out to have been a comfortable one for Derby if Harris had not scored, with the aid of a deflection, four minutes before the interval? Somehow though, I doubt it, because one thing I did get right in my Leeds piece is that this is now a City squad with the belief and spirit that was so lacking five months ago as a Derby side, that were near the bottom of the table themselves, came to Cardiff and did much as they wanted in recording a 2-0 win.

In the event, City were level within two minutes of the restart. This time, Harris’ goal was a routine one as he took advantage from close in of Derby’s inability to deal with an Aron Gunnarsson long throw, but it could be worth so much in terms of belief to someone who has the ingredients to be a very influential player at this level.

All evening the right footed Harris was being used on the left by City, with the left footed Noone patrolling the right. Regular readers of this blog’s Feedback section will know that there are some who’d much prefer to see our wide players being used on their “natural” side of the pitch and I tend to agree with them, but successive City managers have often prefered to see Noone cutting in from the flank so that he can get shots in with his preferred foot and Neil Warnock must have been congratulating himself ten minutes later as the winger curled in a beauty from twenty yards when doing precisely that to, unbelievably, put us in front.

Undoubtedly, it looks great, as well as easy, when Noone gets it right and the ball flies into the net. One can only hope that with him being another City player who has reacted well to being recalled by Warnock after a spell out of the team, that it will be happening more frequently in the coming weeks than it has been up to now.

The BBC’s stats show that City had fifteen goal attempts to Derby’s eighteen, but on target efforts were eight to five in our favour and this tends to confirm the impression I was getting one hundred and fifty odd miles away from the radio that we were just as likely, or maybe even more likely, to score the game’s sixth goal.

In fact, while I always find it harder to feel comfortable about a City match I’m listening to compared to one I’m watching, that was how I was starting to feel as the match was going into it’s final quarter of an hour, so, of course, Derby duly went ahead and equalised within a minute!

In his post match press conference, a bubbly Neil Warnock spoke of how he would willingly have got on the bus home at 3-3, but when in the future I say, as I’m sure I will, that he is a defensively minded manager, I need to be reminded of what he did at Derby on St. Valentine’s Day 2017, because his substitutions told the story of someone assuredly going for the three points, as opposed to the one he already had.

A jubilant Neil Warnock performs the Ayatollah for the three hundred and odd fans who had just watched their side record an amazing win. For a seen it all, done it all veteran of sixty eight, Warnock’s enthusiasm is fantastic and I think it’s one of the factors behind us showing what is now something like Play Off form in the twenty one matches played since he arrived.*

How else can the replacement of Greg Halford by Rhys Healey be seen – a sitting midfielder off and a striker on says it all and then the like for like replacement of Noone by Junior Hoilett only re-emphasised the attacking intent. The final switch whereby Harris came off to be replaced by Declan John might have been seen as a “settle for what we’ve got” decision, but I’d think our manager may see Declan as much as a winger as he does a full back and the “safer” move would have been to get Joe Bennett on.

That said, you get the impression from his press conference that Warnock wanted Healey to be a bit less attack minded than he was when he burst on to a Zohore header (when I watch the game on the club website, it will be interesting to see if Kenneth did better in the air than normal because he certainly won a couple of headers that had a huge bearing on the game) in time added on. Pearce was deemed to have brought Healey down as he closed in on goal and there were few protests from the home players against the decision.

For a second time in a month, City were faced with taking a spot kick without any of what I would call their preferred penalty takers on the pitch. At Reading, Joe Ralls took the responsibility and scored without looking truly convincing, but it was to his great credit that he was able to nervelessly put this penalty away when there was so much riding on it.

Derby were never going to come back from that and so we find ourselves on forty two points, eight short of Warnock’s figure to avoid relegation. Amazingly, when you consider where we were four months ago, we are now in the top half of the table. Our manager has earned the right to have the sort of funding he wants this summer made available to him and his players have earned the right to expect bigger home crowds from now on – Rotherham are the kind of opponents we have struggled to break down this season and I still think it will be something of a grind on Saturday, but let’s hope a few thousand more than the normal lot think City are worthy of their support again.

*pictures courtesy of

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11 Responses to And, yet again, I get proved wrong as City win at Derby in seven goal spectacular!

  1. Adrian Lloyd Pickrell says:

    Good Morning Paul
    Thank you again for a thoroughly enjoyable post.
    I too hogged the Radio over here in Germany last night and after the delight of beating Leeds on Saturday I felt the usual “back down to earth” feeling as Derby went 2-0 up.
    I checked the league table to see how much damage a defeat would do and it didn’t seem all that bad. What followed was nothing short of amazing and must have been fantastic entertainment for those who were there.
    Six Points from two back to back away games where no one would have moaned too much if we had lost both of them.
    I am delighted for Craig Noone. Not too long ago some people wanted to sell him for two shillings and sixpence to Glyneath Athletic but now he appears to be playing a vital part in the Team once again.
    A brilliant night…. but in true City fashion I am now worried about Rotherham on Saturday.

  2. Colin Phillips says:

    You weren’t alone in having difficulty getting off to sleep, Paul, took some time for the adrenalin to settle down.

    Great to score four goals but the three conceded ain’t so good. And we get a penalty late on…….had a nice few penalties lately.

    Now we go to Cardiff City Stadium on a high and we play well bottom-placed Rotherham, what can go wrong!?

    Is it too early to stop worrying about relegation?

  3. Barry Cole says:

    Paul another masterly stroke of the pen and at such a late hour, if I had known I could have called as I entered my home after the game about the same time.
    I know people think I may be over the top in enthusiasm for the change to Warnock and with the team surpassing the target I thought we would achieve against Derby and Leeds of four points to a magnificent six I just want to say that while everyone was saying that the players we had were not good enough, I knew we had the makings of a good team what we lacked was a good manager.
    We now have him, and more so we have players playing to their potential. In my post of November 26th I mention that noone ( there done it) should be played in front of pilkington but I also thought that the weak link in the team was Morrison. Having had a dozen games since nothing has changed for me, Morrison is the weakest link. It was clear last night that he has a lot of back games with the odd good game rolled in which seems to cement his place. this is not a dig at Morrison as he tends to offer more in the opposite penalty area than our own. I just cant understand how he achieves those headers in the attacking penalty area and not in his defensive area.
    That said the match was electric and like Leeds I didn’t seem to think that we would come away defeated as each time they scored we seem to create chances at the other end.
    There is no doubt that the defence were run ragged for most of the first half but that was simply down to sheer bad defending and Derby luck. Yes we should have been closer to bent but again we made a rod for our own back.
    I have also mentioned about my feelings in all this and I can say after each game I am so looking forward to the next. I never thought that feeling would return and as it has we must get it out to the missing fans just what a turnaround has happened since October.
    Like everyone else I dreaded each match day watching the same mundane performances and negative tactics that came with slade s arrival. Like you there was one point where I was beginning to hate the thought of a football match, now it’s totally different.
    I did say we could get into the top six but I felt that disappeared with the Norwich match but I think we will be close.
    I do hope the missing fans see what is happening and come back once again putting their feelings about the last few years behind them and seeing just what Warnock has done to change the fortunes of the team. Yes we had the players and I know we still need quality but what a team spirit Warnock has produced.
    No match is easy in this league and none more than Rotherham who will shut up shop and try the breakaway now and then. Yes it should be a win for us but I keep looking at the teams that defend deep against us and our results haven’t been good.
    I am sure Warnock will be instilling that on the team, but I think Rotherham will be just as hard as the last two games. Onwards and upwards, I’ve now got my mauve and yellow shirt out again let’s hope this positivity continues and we get the quality players we need to get back to where we really belong.

  4. Anthony O'Brien says:

    I would hazard a guess that every Cardiff fan, including the ever-optimistic Barry Cole — (whose optimism , incidentally, is not “over-the-top” but a source of morale-boosting for many of us) had a sense of foreboding as last night’s game entered the closing minutes. But then, amazingly, instead of conceding a goal, Cardiff win a very late penalty and take the game. I woke up this morning still enjoying the feel-good factor. The late goal also shows that, far from hanging on for draw, Cardiff were still willing to go on the attack as the final minutes ticked away. There certainly seems to be a new spirit in the air.

    Can I also congratulate Adrian on remembering what “two shillings and sixpence” is — or rather , was!

  5. BJA says:

    Paul – Great report as always, and at such a ridiculous hour – you must be a coffeeholic!!
    Much as I would wish to listen to City commentaries on the radio, I find that to be much too much of a nervous exercise at my advanced age so for our last two games up North I have watched Sky’s reporting of matches in their Soccer Special programme. Last night Championship matches took precedence and they actually showed the goals immediately after they had been scored. Now why that is easier for my disposition to view than to listen in live time to our match is uncertain – perhaps it is the distraction of all of the games taking place. But hey, what a night and what a magnificent two last results.
    On Saturday we played in blue, so I was wearing plenty of blue, but last night we played in red and only after getting ready for bed did I realise that I has been unwittingly wearing red socks! An omen? Superstitious – me – no!
    Watching the goals so soon after they were scored, it occurred to me that Morrison was culpable for two Derby goals ( why can’t he win the ball in the air in defence ) but it is so good to see our attackers actually running at defenders with young Harris particularly involving himself in this manner.
    In the match against Norwich, Rhys Healey was booked for allegedly “diving”. I did not think that was the correct decision at the time. Last night, it seemed to me that the penalty that he won was almost a repeat of the Norwich situation. Anyone agree?
    After predicting that we would only win four points from our last four matches, revising that to three before our two trips North, I am withdrawing from forecasting the future. But like many, now looking forward to the rest of the season and certainly next if NW is still at the helm and supported by the owner.

  6. Lindsay Davies says:

    Great stuff, Paul – thanks. Best Bluebirds-related feelings for ages.
    Agree with AO’B – Barry is good for us all!

  7. russell roberts says:

    Thanks Paul for the great write up , great valentines night for the club and you, the club you obviously love.

    Like you I’ve fallen out of love with the modern game on TV its become way too cynical, commercial , greedy and sadly isolated in cost the game experience for low income people.

    I can happly report that I booted Sky , along with its premium channels a year ago saved £80 bucks a month , got broadband only bought in Netflix /Amazon TV bingo dont miss a thing ,as you suggest MOTD Football League Programmes deliver enough for me , I do however listen to a lot of football on the radio ,whilst working or pottering about. And its help become more social when I got out to the pub to watch to odd game of interest .

    In relation to the two away games N.W. must have sighed heavily before the two fixtures as they didn’t look very promising for us , what won this game and the Leeds one ( gosh that was enjoyable) was passion, a will to win and collective spirit , and NW has delivered that to a club whose make up was on its ( excuse me ) arse .

    The game exposed how easily we can be beaten in the air which is a strange one considering our height , we need two steady full backs , there is so much chopping and changing in those position over the season I think it adversely effects a settled back four which is critical in the modern game.

    Great to see Harris and Noone run riot , on the opposite wings , I think the left or the right argument is best settled by switching wings through the game , so the defending team cant get used to an individual always needed to turn inwards onto their stronger foot for a shot , we got away with last night , another and better defending team will work it out .

    Finally like to mention Ralls and how impressed I was for a young player under huge pressures to convert a penalty with such aplomb.

    Another two home wins and we can play some development talent ??

    Get some well deserved sleep Paul , I find reading mindless trivia does it for me, highly recommend Lee Child’s (Jack Reacher ) series ,fast moving page turner , nonsense plots , nothing to think about , just enjoyable frolics , without having to think too deeply.

    Hope your sleep sorts itself out soon

  8. Dai Woosnam says:

    I would not be any good in some monastic retreat, where along with the compulsory hair-shirt, all computers had to be handed in at the door.
    The hair-shirt would be nae problem – it might even appeal to the ascetic in me – but the lack of a tool to connect me to the Bluebirds diaspora, would surely see me organising an escape committee, and a secret tunnel being dug from under the carpet in my cell.

    Not by me you understand…but by a few sympathetic and energetic monks. My dad was a coal face worker who died of pneumoconiosis when he was 56, and I was 10. He knew how to tunnel in his day, alright.
    But alas, I have none of his characteristics. Before I was born, the sexes tossed a coin…and it got lost in midair.
    Oh to be a macho man…!!
    Alas, all I can dig is good music and good football…and …
    my grave with my knife and fork.

    And I – like AMO – can “dig” a good line. And I reckon that the half a crown line from ALP – my shorthand acronym for Adrian – was made even greater, by his reference to Glynneath Athletic. Of all the teams in all the world, you had to choose mine…

    No, I jest of course. Porth Welfare was always mine. When they played at the Welfare Ground in Llwyncelyn…before they were called “AFC Porth”.

    Seriously though, knowing how Max Boyce lived next door to the corner flag at the rugby ground in Glynneath , I wonder what sort of following the town’s soccer team could have got? Was Max ever heard shouting from their touchline “Chwarae teg, ref …!!” I doubt it somehow in that rugby-mad town. Did a soccer team even ever exist there? The thought occurs that ALP may have deliberately thrown in an apocryphal team, as a means of saying “they’d have given him (Craig Noone) away, to anyone who’d come knocking”.

    Anyway, I have dai-gressed as usual. Apols. You may ask… what has awakened me from my slumbers?

    Well, Lindsay’s comment is the clue. Mr Barry Cole.

    The man who was a voice in the wilderness when it came to Russell “Mr Chips” Slade…and eventually was proved to be prophetic.
    And now look at him…he is at it again…

    There were Jeremiahs like me, who 6 weeks ago were seriously worried about possible relegation, even though we knew that Neil Warnock was a manager in a million. We just did not trust the players. Players like Morrison who I have always said does not have a defensive bone in his body, but could make a good old-fashioned striker. And players like Joe Bennett who I just do not rate (where is my philatelist friend gone to, now that Declan was preferred to him, coming off the subs’ bench? Seriously hope he is not ill, and just in hiding, up in Tonypandy, Pentre, Treherbert, etc., …or wherever the verdant bushes of anonymity are hiding him).

    But hey let’s get off my bete noire. Let’s get back to Barry. I salute you, sir.
    And that last word, is not an accident on my part.

    There’s been me in the past two years doing my usual “Sir Vincent” riff, but now the thought occurs that if Neil takes Cardiff on an amazing miraculous run like the one that Iain Dowie took Palace some 13 years back, and sneaks into the Play Offs as the team with the Big Mo, then it should be Mr Cole who gets knighted…!!

    “Arise, Sir Barry, for services to football forecasting”.

    And before closing this piece from an iPad smuggled in to my retreat…a word on Paul, our host.

    Sir, isn’t it a tribute to your good-self that, we do not bat an eyelid when you tell us that you are burning the midnight oil, writing far into the night, as the Chronicler (of the far-from-chronic) Cardiff City. The sad thing is that dedicated individuals like you are sort of taken for granted on the internet. And that is a crying shame, because you marshal your thoughts so beautifully – even when I do not agree with them – and there are no wasted words. For every word you use, pays its rent in your sentences.

    A final thought on a subject now put to bed. The shirt colour issue.
    Now as you know, I always took the Dannie Abse line, viz., I rather wish Vincent had not changed, but I guess I’d learn to live with it.
    And I am glad we are back in blue.

    And that said, have you noticed how much more mature we all are now, on this issue. A year ago, there’d have been querulous voices raised “Why aren’t we in blue against Derby?”
    We have come on leaps and bounds.

    And I have to say that our away strip is the nicest all-red strip I know of. Love the white trimming. Knocks spots off Liverpool’s strip. Much nicer shade of red, for starters.
    And is it my imagination, or am I on to something (not “on” something !!) when I say that the Anfield red of today, is not the shame shade of red in the Toshack-Keegan era …or has the cararact op I had, played havoc with my vision…?!

    But enough. The monks are ringing the bell for evensong…

    So I leave you folks with my words to add to the euphoria you all feel today.

    With apologies to the late Jim Connell, and his fine words written way back in 1889 to the great socialist anthem. And now… ALL of you reading this, please immediately startle your possible companion(s) by singing these words – with both feeling and brio – to the melody of that fine old German Christmas song, O Tannenbaum…(or The Red Flag, if you prefer…but I want to keep politics out of this wonderful MAYA home of ours…such wise advice from Clive Harry, some 8 months back).

    Come on now boys, give it some welly…

    Neil Warnock’s team are royal blue
    We fought with Vincent for that hue.
    He wanted us garbed like Man U
    We found that just too hard to do.

    Let’s raise the royal-blue standard high
    Beneath its folds we’ll play and die
    Though Wurzels scorn, and Jack fans sneer
    We’ll cheer Neil’s blue team scoring here.

  9. Dai Woosnam says:

    P.S. It was a shame alright….i.e. about the “shame” for “same”…otherwise typo free for once.

  10. MIKE HOPE says:

    When I first read Paul’s report I intended to offer some thoughts on how you can accurately analyse a team’s strengths and weaknesses and still be hopelessly wrong when they next play. It’s probably why it is so hard to win on Fixed Odds coupons.
    Having now read Dai’s contribution it is impossible to follow that so I am just going to say what a great few days it has been to be a City supporter!

  11. The other Bob Wilson says:

    As always, thanks for your replies.
    1. Just for you Adrian – and Dai!
    2. Colin, back in 2009, I can remember us beating Watford in March thanks to a penalty by Ross McCormack in about the ninety sixth minute and saying on a messageboard the following day that it was now a question of when, not if, our Play Off place was confirmed and all was going well, indeed I was even beginning to think of a top two finish, until Preston 6 Cardiff 0! Even so, I’m willing to risk being made to look a fool (again!) by saying that we won’t be going down this season.
    3. My mauve and yellow shirt has definitely seen better days Barry, it may be due a reappearance soon – funny thing is, it seems to get smaller every time I put it on.
    4. As I alluded to in my piece Anthony, Joe Ralls might have scored with his recent penalty at Reading, but he did so as unconvincingly as it’s possible to do while taking a spot kick. I was not confident he was going to score, but credit to him for handling the situation so calmly.I think there’s been a tendency from City fans, myself included, to take Ralls for granted this season and there’s been some disappointment expressed about his form as he makes the transition from promising youngster to seasoned member of the first team – when you look around the league, there are not too many central midfielders of his age who are, obviously, better than him.
    5. BJA, the penalty was a bit strange as there seems to be a general acceptance that the decision was a correct one (as I mentioned in my piece, there were few protests from the Derby players concerning it’s award), but I don’t think the pictures I’ve seen of the incident make it look like an obvious penalty – as I say, the lack of debate about the decision means it’s probably me who has got it wrong. As for the non decision against Norwich, I still can’t really make my mind up on it after seeing it from a few different angles, but I’m certain that Healey’s booking for diving was a very harsh call.
    6. Glad you are feeling so positive Lindsay – it’s been the best week of the season for me when you consider we’ve seen a display against Leeds which has just been voted performance of the week by the LMA (League Managers Association), a very encouraging result for the Under 23s in a fascinating game with Burnley’s youngsters and then Tuesday’s thriller – let’s hope this feelgood factor is reflected at the gate on Saturday.
    7. I was up until 3.30 writing that blog Russell and then was awake again within two hours. It was hardly a typical night for me, because I tend to follow that “early to bed, early to rise” adage, but the old prostate ensures that my days of six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night are long, long behind me.
    8. Good to hear from you again Dai and thanks for those very kind words. I may have not mentioned about why do we have to play in red against a side wearing white shirts, when we wore blue against Leeds on Saturday, but I was certainly thinking it (although I agree with you that, as red Cardiff kits go, the current one is one of the better ones). However, I seem to remember something from last season whereby it’s considered a colour clash when a team in black shorts faces one wearing blue shorts – seems ridiculous to me, but maybe it was a choice between wearing all red against blue shirts and red shorts and, in those circumstances, I’d say they got the decision right.
    9. Mike, I agree with you that there are always games where the norms which dictate how a team fares in a season fly out of the window and I still believe the analysis that appeared in my piece on the Leeds game was a fundamentally correct one. That said, having watched the whole match on Cardiff City World yesterday afternoon, I have to say that I might have underestimated our attacking prowess a bit because, for the second time in four games (Preston being the first one) our opponents couldn’t cope with the pace of our attacking three plus there were also some really neat close passing moves, including one straight after Derby’s first goal that was completely at odds with what you normally see from Neil Warnock’s City side – Zohore and Harris make a big difference to our capacity to hit teams on the break.

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