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Premier League: the half-time report card

Premier League: the half-time report card

A Christmas cracker

It’s been a precious feeling going into Christmas with the Bluebirds not in the relegation zone. It’s an even better feeling rounding off Christmas with a Boxing Day clean sheet and resilient away point at Crystal Palace.

Premier League table as of 28th December 2018 | Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/tables

I’ve always felt that we’d be in the mix of teams hovering around the relegation zone. In fact, my biggest concern before the season started was allowing teams to drift off in the distance. What I’m really pleased about, is that we’ve kept ourselves in the mix. We’re still at the races and that’s a massive boost for confidence. It’s important for survival that we continue to do that going into the second half of the season.

In Warnock we trust

Pundits were quick to predict that Neil Warnock would be the first managerial casualty of the 2018/19 Premier League season. Perhaps that’s understandable if you were to look at his stats record in the Premier League.

Cardiff fans however would say that he’s really steadied the ship and it’s a huge plus to have him still at the helm. His style of play is often criticised by pundits and viewers, but let’s not forget where the bluebirds were when Warnock came in. He sailed a small squad from 19th place in the Championship to second place the next season, securing automatic promotion to the Premier League.

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The small nature of the squad that Warnock adopted has no doubt been beneficial. It’s not worked out for all of his signings, but there’s a solid sense of togetherness at the Club. The #CityAsOne mentality has been crucial. It will continue to be so as the bluebirds approach the second half of the season.

There seems to be a good understanding between the manager and players. Warnock’s consistent praise of the players in his post match press conferences have been a highlight of the season so far for some fans.

What’s also been fantastic to see is the togetherness of everyone at the club from the owner, manager, players and fans. City fans appreciate any player who gives everything for the badge and we’ve seen plenty of that this season. It’s been nice to see the players appreciate the fans support, too.

The key to Premier League survival

It’s fair to say – we’ve survived a few thrashings so far this season. Both Manchester teams put five past us at home and on the road, we’ve conceded four goals at Chelsea and Liverpool. Having said that, we’ve capitalised on games concerning teams around us. It was a sucker punch losing against Burnley, but at the same time, it drilled home the reality that you must take your chances in this division.

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We’ve beaten Fulham, Wolves, Brighton and Southampton at home and secured a point against Newcastle. The home fortress is going to play a huge part in our survival in the Premier League. The fans know that and the atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium this season has been immense. We’ll no doubt be looking at certain games with real intent to pick up points.

Adapting to life in the Premier League

City have adapted fairly quickly and made it over a few hurdles as they’ve approached us. There was the worry at the start of the season of not being able to score goals. Having four different players on the scoresheet against Fulham was the icing on the cake. Callum Paterson has become a cult hero and an unlikely goal scoring machine. However, there’s still a long way to go and I feel we could really do with a striker in the January transfer window to get us a few more goals.

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The next hurdle to surpass is that first away win. The point against Palace on Boxing Day was a real improvement, after giving ourselves far too much to do against Watford. We kept ourselves in the game and secured our second away point of the season. However, whilst we know every stadium is a difficult place to go to in the Premier League, picking up away points will really help our chances of survival.

Transfers

See Also

This January transfer window might well be the most important in recent times for the bluebirds. We’ve kept ourselves at the races and above the relegation zone – but we need more strength in depth. It’s been an intense Christmas period and it’s going to be interesting to see how the games at Leicester and Spurs pan out and how Warnock sets up the team. However, every game in this division is intense and for me, I’d like to see a striker be brought in, alongside a central midfielder and right back.

Whatever happens, we’ll continue to support the boys and make some noise and embrace life in the Premier League.

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