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Match Report – Cardiff City 2, Wolves 1

Match Report – Cardiff City 2, Wolves 1

Happy 70th Neil Warnock! The Bluebirds manager celebrates his birthday on Saturday after his Cardiff City team fought back to beat Wolves at home.

Goals from Aron Gunnarsson and Junior Hoilett gave City their victory after they had fallen behind.

The goalscorer both spoke to Sky Sports after the victory.

“Everybody gives 100 per cent for the club, the fans and each other,” said Hoilett. “We started off a bit slow, but then came out better in the second half. I enjoyed that goal.”

“It’s always good to win at home,” said Gunnarsson. “The first half wasn’t good enough, but in the second half we came out fighting and we deserved that three points.”

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The spirit, intensity and character of Cardiff players was remarkable and big-spending Wolves were left down and out.

Their win lifts Cardiff to 15th place with five teams below them. Warnock’s warriors showed they have the heart and spirit to produce something special.

This was an excellent victory, but there is still no doubt Cardiff need three or four quality signings during the January transfer window.

That is going to be tough, but owner Vincent Tan simply has to stick with manager Neil Warnock and give him at least some spending power.

Cardiff are close to being a team who can compete with teams in the lower half of the Premier table, but once again a defensive error led to the Bluebirds going a goal down.

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The teams ran out to Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right Here, Right Now’ at full volume, but it proved to be Wolves who lived up to that expectation.

City need to bring in three or four players in January. Top priority is a centre-forward, while a right-back and quality midfield player are certainly right up there.

City simply have to stop asking players to fill positions they are not used to. I am full of admiration for Callum Paterson at centre-forward.

He wins more aerial challenges than many strikers I have watched, but it’s not his position and he is living off scraps at best.

Bruno Manga has the potential to be a top class centre-back at Premier level, but he is being asked to operate at right-back and doing a decent job.

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Warnock has spent a football lifetime motivating players and is certainly among the best in that respect.

Now his test is to find the players who can transform Cardiff’s season. They have certainly done a decent job so far considering the resources they have, but that extra touch of quality is going to be crucial.

Wolves played in all white, while were in their traditional blue kit.

Warnock tweaks Cardiff’s formation to play five in midfield, a system which matched up with Wolves and made life difficult for the visitors marauding wing-backs.

Wolves looked uncomfortable in the face of Cardiff aggression as the Bluebirds, hassled and harried them in all areas.

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Matt Doherty was making his 200th appearance for Wolves and, unfortunately for Cardiff, marked that achievement with a goal after 18 minutes.

That put Cardiff level with Newcastle in terms of the most goals conceded from set pieces. Both are on seven.

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Doherty’s goal came when Raul Jimenez won the header header from a corner and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge made an excellent, full length save to keep it out.

Warnock will ask questions why one of his defenders failed to win the first header.

But Doherty pounced on the loose ball to fire into the roof of the net with Harry Arter, on the goalie, unable to block the effort.

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Arter struck an outstanding volley which smashed against a post with the Wolves ’keeper beaten, but the Bluebirds were not to be denied.

Gunnarsson equalised after 65 minutes after Morrison won his header following a corner. Wolves keeper Rui Patricio moved to collect, but was blocked by Paterson before Gunnarsson hooked his shot into the net.

Wolves felt it was a foul by Paterson, but Cardiff were ecstatic.

Then came the winner with 77 minutes gone. Hoilett has been directly involved in more league goals (21 – 10 goals, 11 assists) than any other Cardiff player player this season.

He struggled to have an impact on this match, but he produced a magnificent finish to earn all three points for the Bluebirds.

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His curling shot flew across goal and inside the far post for a winner that could be crucial over the season.

A shot was blocked in the penalty area and Hoilett finished in style, firing a first-time shot into the net off the underside of the bar.

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