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 two we’ll hear from fans of Hull, Huddersfield, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Millwall.

If you missed part one, check it out here.

Huddersfield Town

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What does your side need this summer?

I don’t believe we desperately need anything incoming. Realistically we just need to keep hold of some of our star players; Christopher Schindler, Aaron Mooy, Terrence Kongolo etc. If there was one area I would look to strengthen it would be left-back, we’re a touch short there at the moment.

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

That we’re not as rubbish as we were last season. As fans of your club will be well aware, the Premier League is an unforgiving place that can make your team look terrible at times. There were a plethora of factors that went into our demise last season, and I think we’ll be back to playing good, solid attacking football this campaign – something we were unable to do in the Premier League.

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

The club hierachy have been keen to not overpromise this summer, with their main objective being to ‘win more games and excite the fans’. Realistically that’s all I can hope for, I’d be happy with mid-table for much of the season and then a push at the play-offs in spring. However, there is a nagging doubt that we’ll get off to a slow start and find ourselves near the foot of the table, losing is a difficult habit to get out of.

What do you make of Cardiff?

I feel as if Cardiff are perhaps the easiest team to predict in the league, there will be no surprises and more of the same in terms of what got you to the Premier League in the first place. Neil Warnock knows this league inside out and has a style that seems to suit it. I think you’ll be in with a shout of promotion, without ever being favourites.

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

4th-10th. I could quite easily see a situation where you finish in the play-offs and find yourselves successful at Wembley, equally I could see a string of refereeing errors and Warnock outbursts culminating in Cardiff narrowly missing out on the top six. I would like to caveat that with the fact that no-one knows anything in football, especially just before a season starts. Who would have thought we would gain promotion in 2016/2017? Likewise, who would have tipped Cardiff for the top two the following season?

Thanks to John McNamara of theHuddersfield website Terrier Blog for their input. 

Hull City

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What does your side need this summer?

With many players leaving in the summer due to the termination of their contracts, the acquisitions of Matt Ingram, Josh Bowler, Ryan Tafazolli and Tom Eaves add depth to a squad that is still low on numbers. They could do with maybe another striker, centre-back and one or two more options, in midfield, although their recruitment strategy could change completely if any of Jarrod Bowen, Markus Henriksen or Kamil Grosicki leave the KCOM Stadium.

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

If Bowen and Grosicki stay, Cardiff’s backline should be wary. The duo of wingers are among the division’s most deadly, netting over 30 Championship goals between them this season.

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

This season could be a very tough one, especially with the lack of Championship experience arriving in place of David Marshall and Fraizer Campbell, among the bigger names of those to exit this summer.

What do you make of Cardiff?

I think Cardiff should be nearing the top of the table, the squad hasn’t changed too much since being relegated. Will Vaulks and Aden Flint are smart signings, but I think another midfielder and striker would only benefit them.

Where do you think Cardiff will finish?

Can see them finishing in, or just outside of the play-offs.

Thanks to the Jonty Colman – Hull Live/Hull Daily Mail for hsi input. 

Leeds United

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What does your side need this summer?

Well, most of my fellow Leeds fans would say that we need another centre back and another striker but I’m pretty happy with what we’ve got squad-wise. Yes, we’ve got a lot of youth to make up our squad depth but this is a stronger squad than we had last season and, with Bielsa working his magic for another season (and with a full pre-season), I’m feeling quite sanguine about how things are looking. Andrea Radrizzani isn’t going to throw money at the squad so Helder Costa, Jack Harrison, Jack Clarke and Ben White in on loan will suit us well, even with Pontus Jansson moving to Brentford.

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

We play the most interesting football in the league. I would have said most attractive football in the league, but sometimes it isn’t. It’s always exhilarating, though, not knowing which one is going to unfold: will it be the breathtaking variety of football that is the best that I’ve ever seen at Elland Road or will it be the frustrating car-crash football that saw us fall away at the end last season.

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

I think teams will have Leeds ‘figured out’ this season in terms of their basic approach. The question now is whether the addition of Costa, Clarke returning from a virus and Harrison having a second full season will give the team more capacity to break down teams in the low block who proved to be our nemesis last season. If these players can isolate full backs in wide areas, the pressure could be off Pablo Hernandez from creating everything.

What do you make of Cardiff?

It’ll be interesting to see how Cardiff respond to the challenge of the Championship after a season in the Premier League. As a Leeds fan, I have nothing good to say about Neil Warnock, of course. But we all know his success rate in this division. If Cardiff can retain most of their squad before the window closes, I expect them to be the most dangerous of the three relegated teams.

Where do you think Cardiff will finish?

So much of it depends on how the strong teams in the division. If you are a relegated side, the odds are stacked against you to go straight back up through automatic promotion so I’ll hedge my bets and say that you’ll finish in the play off places.

Thanks to @Jon_Mackenzie
for his input.

Middlesbrough

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What does your side need this summer?

Pace and creativity. We’ve been short of any real pace for a long time now – Adama Traore notwithstanding – and it leaves us looking lethargic in defence and attack. Jonathan Woodgate has said he wants to play attractive, exciting football so it would be surprising not to see a winger or two come in, and hopefully someone with a bit of guile behind the strikers as there’s a lot of reliance on Lewis Wing – signed from non-league AFC Shildon – in that department.

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

We’re the new Ajax, apparently. Woodgate wasn’t an immediately popular choice as manager, seen by some as the cheap, unambitious option. But he’s said all the right things and is tasked with implementing an Ajax-style model throughout the club; a consistent, positive style of play from the kids to the first team and a heavy emphasis on the youth academy, which he knows inside out. It’s been an unhappy few years but with a lifelong supporter in charge and the talented academy lads being given responsibility, it should be an exciting time. Juventus are going to feel stupid chucking all that money at Matthijs de Ligt when they hear about Nathan Wood.

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

Upper mid-table. We’re looking long-term with Woodgate and I’d imagine he’ll be given a fair amount of leeway with the immediate results. There are still some excellent Championship players throughout the squad so a play-off challenge should be the target but there’s not a massive amount of pressure to succeed immediately. If we play half-decent football it’ll be enough of a departure from the Pulis era that he’ll get the backing of the fans, particularly with the kids playing.

What do you make of Cardiff?

I’d be surprised if Cardiff struggle. After only a season away from the Championship, Warnock sticking around and not much of a turnover in players, you seem relatively stable and I’d be expecting a bash at the playoffs. Aden Flint could be a good signing in the right system, though he admitted to having a ‘diabolical’ season at the Riverside and nobody is massively gutted that he’s being sold on at a loss after only one year. His freakishly gigantic body makes him dominant at set pieces at both ends, just don’t expect a lot with the ball at his feet.

Where do you think Cardiff will finish?

4th. Warnock will know what he’s doing and I’d imagine there will have been a relegation contingency plan as soon as you went up. The play-offs are hard to call and I’m not sure you’ve got 90 points in you again, but you’ll be in the mix.

Thanks to Boro fan Sam France for his input. 

Millwall

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What does your side need this summer?

We’ve made a number of additions already but still need at least 3 more – a goalkeeper, right back and central midfielder. Three players are also available to depart – so we need to replace them. We’re in a better place than last season, though.

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

The struggles last season weren’t necessarily down to a lack of quality, more dressing room issues tying the manager’s hands.

How do you think you’ll fare this season?

I think a low mid-table finish is achievable. This group have good spirit and more quality than last season’s, with added goal threat. We’ll be a handful from set-pieces too, with the likes of Matt Smith & Jake Cooper – as well as others.

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

Having kept hold of most of your squad, a top six finish looks likely to be on the cards. I’m not sure automatic promotion is a plausible aim given a possible managerial change with this looking likely to be Neil Warnock’s last season.

Thanks to Lucas Ballfor his input. 


We hope you enjoyed part two of our Championship view. Thanks to those who provided their input. Part three, where we speak to more opposition fans, drops tomorrow.