The 2019/20 season is almost upon us and Cardiff are back in the Championship, but what do fans of the other second tier clubs think of the Bluebirds and how do they think their own team will fare?

Scott Salter caught up with fans of some of Cardiff’s opponents this year, and in part one we’ll hear from fans of Barnsley, Blackburn, Brentford, Charlton and Fulham.

Barnsley

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What does your side need this summer?

With the 10 signings do far, Daniel Stendel has added real competition for places. The funds created by the sale of Pinnock and Lindsay has -as promised – been reinvested in the squad.Willks and Chaplin look like quality signings snd whilst the pre-season internationals have all been won, these were merely an opportunity for the squad to get fit and Stdndel to decide on his starting XI.

What’s the one thing Cardiff fans should know about your team/club?

Barnsley’s brand of football is about high pressing, attacking football. “Gegenpress” will most likely be included in the top 100 most used words in/around Oakwell. Stendel’s philosophy was successfully adopted by the team last season and saw us win automatic promotion whilst remaining unbeaten in the league at home since March 2018.

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

This season is all about getting Championship experience and sustaining championship status- fancy us to finish between 14th-18th.

What do you make of Cardiff? Where do you think Cardiff will finish?

Cardiff has always bern a tough place to go and no happy hunting ground for the Reds. I feel the division is wide open with probably Fulham and Brentford favourites to lead the pack. Would expect Cardiff to finish top half.

Thanks to Barnsley podcast @RedsReport_ for their input. 

Blackburn

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What does your side need this summer?

At the time of writing, it’s got to be a centre-back. We’re very close to bringing Tosin Adarabioyo into the club on a loan, but we need another centre back in regardless of how that move works out.

Our defence was very poor last season – conceding 69 times in the league – and we’ve also lost Jack Rodwell, so a centre-back would definitely be top of our list.

We’re also in need of two keepers, with Christian Walton set to join, so that would be just behind the centre-back in terms of priority and what we need

What’s the one thing Cardiff fans should know about your team/club?

For me, it’s to not underestimate us. Fans might look at our team sheet and think we don’t have the best quality players, such as looking at almost 34-year-old Danny Graham who still scored 15 last season, but we’re not to be underestimated.

Our team spirit and fight gives us that extra bit and it got us over the line at times last season, and I’m very confident we’ll be the same this year under Mowbray.

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

I’ve seen talk of the play-offs between some supporters this season, and if we can get the right transfers in (especially the positions I previously mentioned), then there’s no reason why we can’t give It a good go.

I’m a slightly (only just) pessimistic supporter in terms of not wanting to get my hopes up, so I’m going to take a guess at a finish between 8th and 12th.

What do you make of Cardiff?

A solid unit with a manager who I rate and respect very highly.

It’ll be tough for Cardiff this season, as it has been for relegated sides in the last few years, but if there’s anyone to get them back to the top flight at the first time of asking, it has to be Neil Warnock.

I really rate the signing of Aden Flint and he’s a solid defender, but the outgoings of Kenneth Zohore and Bruno Ecuele Manga will be a loss for the Bluebirds.

Where do you think Cardiff will finish?

In all honesty, after seeing what happened with Stoke and Swansea last season, I’d have placed you around the same place as I predicted for Rovers, around the top half.

However, with Neil Warnock in charge, I’ll give you a little boost in my prediction and guess 6th, just sneaking in the play-offs. Whatever happens there is purely a lottery.

Thanks to the Blackburn podcast @Rovers_Chat for their input. 

Brentford

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What does your side need this summer?

Most fans would probably answer that we need to keep our key players, the most high profile being Neal Maupay, though it seems less and less likely that will happen…

We have recruited really well so far this close season and there is a feeling that with it being the last year at Griffin Park, that this is the season we will be ‘going for it’. We have in the past seen our chances hurt by too much change at once though, and while the majority believe that we always buy stronger than we sell, that happens over time, and for many, the next step will only come when we can retain key players as well.

What’s the one thing Cardiff fans should know about your team/club?

That we won’t be a walk over. That’s true all pretty much all teams in the Championship of course, and Cardiff fans certainly know the division well enough to know that already – but even a season in the Premier League tends to erase some parts of a lot of fans’ memories!

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

If the squad, and particularly the new defence, gels well and stays relatively injury free then we should be in the playoffs as a minimum. If things don’t click then another season around the 10th mark seems likely. Whatever happens wins against our local rivals in our last set of derbys at Griffin Park is a must.

What do you make of Cardiff?

Cardiff are interesting because the fans have had quite a few ups and downs over the last few years, from the owner’s antics with the kit, to good and bad times on the pitch. It’s a funny one for me because Cardiff used to be one of my least favourite teams, but that’s changed over time, and it’s a lot friendlier place to go nowadays – whether people think that’s a good thing or not I don’t know!

Where do you think Cardiff will finish?

Obviously in keeping Warnock, many will see an advantage in terms of having a manager who has been promoted to the Premier League before, but things are rarely that simple, so I’d say probably hovering somewhere in the lower top half, either just making or just missing the playoffs, rather than bouncing straight back.

Thanks to @LGBT_Bees for their input.

Charlton

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What does your side need this summer?

Charlton will most likely look to continue with a narrow 4-4-2 diamond, the formation Lee Bowyer has generally looked to employ since he was appointed 18 months ago. With the contracts of many players expiring this summer, a major squad upheaval has been required. In defence, Tom Lockyer has arrived from Bristol Rovers to replace the outgoing Patrick Bauer whilst Ben Purington has returned again, this time on a permanent basis, from Rotherham.

Higher up the pitch, Jonny Williams has re-signed on a 12-month deal and Chuks Aneke has joined from MK Dons to play at the tip of the diamond whilst up front, Macauley Bonne has arrived from Leyton Orient to replace the outgoing Igor Vetokele and Josh Parker. However, reinforcement is still needed in the centre of the park. Krystian Bielik and Josh Cullen have both returned to their parent clubs (Arsenal and West Ham) following successful loans but these central midfielders will need to be replaced if Bowyer is going to persist with a narrow formation. Other than that, another striker would be ideal to allow Bonne time to adjust to the step up and play alongside Lyle Taylor.

What’s the one thing Cardiff fans should know about your team/club?

Charlton has a great track record with young homegrown players. In the past few years, Charlton have produced a host of young talent through their academy such as: Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Ezri Konsa (Brentford, now Aston Villa), Ademola Lookman (Everton) and Joe Aribo (Rangers). Expect young midfielders Albie Morgan and George Lapslie to have a prominent role in the team next year as well as right back, Anfernee Dijksteel, who has already caught the eye of Middlesbrough in this transfer window.

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

We are operating on a very small budget and hence the calibre of players we can attract is far less than those in the upper echelons on the division. However, if we can address squad issues in midfield and up front and retain the atmosphere that Bowyer has created within the squad and the club as a whole, survival is definitely achievable. Anything above that is a bonus?

What do you make of Cardiff?

Was disappointed that your chairman didn’t leave to buy us, as was rumoured at the start of the summer! Seems like a well-run club with a very decent squad for the championship, something Charlton fans could only dream of!

Where do you think Cardiff will finish?

Reminds me a lot of Burnley in 2015-16. Didn’t spend a lot of money when they got promoted and didn’t sack the manager when they got relegated. Warnock has a great track record with getting teams promoted and with most of the squad having Premier League experience from last season, you will surely be up there and contending for the automatic promotion spots come the end of the season.

Thanks to Charlton fan Ben Fleming for the input. 

Fulham

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What does your side need this summer?

We still need some defensive reinforcements. I don’t think too many people would argue that with Mitrovic, Cairney, Knockaert and Cavaleiro that we have the strongest attack (on paper) in the league, but we are still paper thin across the defence.

What’s the one thing Cardiff fans should know about your team/club?

Cardiff fans might not be aware that next season there will only be three stands at Craven Cottage – as the Riverside is being redeveloped. It’s going to make things a bit tight next year.

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

It’s really hard, on paper we realistically should be champions. However, Stoke fans would probably have said the same last season. The unknown factor is Scott Parker, as he’s so inexperienced. I think we’ll be in the top 4, and whether we make the top 2 is down to how Scott deals with the big occasions.

What do you make of Cardiff?

Cardiff look strong in my eyes. You’ve kept together your squad and you’ve kept Neil Warnock. That continuity should serve you well, especially as your squad is now much stronger than when you got promoted. My only concern would be if more teams will now know how to play against Cardiff, two years ago you were able to take many teams by surprise, but you won’t have that luxury this time around.

Where do you think Cardiff will finish?

In the play-offs for sure. I think you’ll be competing with us and Leeds for the automatic spots. If I had to pick an exact position, I’ll say 4th.

Thanks to Sammy James of the Fulhamish Podcast for his input. 


We hope you enjoyed part one of our Championship view. Thanks to those who provided their input. Part two and Part three, where we speak to more opposition fans, is coming in the next couple of days.