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Match Report – Cardiff City 0, Swansea City 0

Match Report – Cardiff City 0, Swansea City 0

Captain Sean Morrison believes his ‘fantastic’ Bluebirds can launch a major Championship play-offs push after their battling goalless draw in the South Wales derby.

Cardiff City played with fire, commitment and aggression, tempering those assets with focus and composure. This was a masterclass in ensuring players were pumped for what is a huge fixture, without letting emotions boil over when the atmosphere is red hot.

More than 28,500 spectators were at Cardiff City Stadium and Morrison said: “Of course we can still have a say in the play-offs and that’s the aim.

“The opportunity is there. We’ve had an up and down season so far and put a couple of runs together, but we really need to start picking up wins now.
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“The boys played fantastically. We stopped them passing the ball, because of how we pressed them and how we made it difficult.

“We knew we couldn’t afford to lose – it was out of the question.”

Morrison was referring to the fact that neither club has ever completed a League double against their rivals – and Swansea were intent on being the first after winning 1-0 at their Liberty Stadium home earlier this season.

“Since the gaffer (Neil Harris) came in, we’ve really bought into his philosophies and worked hard to do what he’s asked of us.
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“We’d not previously been able to get significant time on the training pitch, due to the amount of fixtures.

“To get more time during the week was great, it was high-tempo and a lot of work went in. Training has been the best since the gaffer has been here and we took that into the match.

”We’re not the finished product for where Neil [Harris] wants us, or where we want ourselves to be. We need to keep on building and working together as a team, pushing each other to bring the best out of ourselves.”

The draw left Swansea seventh on 42 points, while Cardiff are four points further back in 12th.

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This was the 62nd league fixture between the clubs over more than 100 years.

Cardiff made five changes from the starting line-up at Queens Park Rangers.

Alex Smithies replaced Neil Etheridge in goal, while Aden Flint, Sol Bamba, Jazz Richards and Will Vaulks were all left out.

Swansea gave a debut to on-loan Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster.

Both teams had chances with Kosovan Celina curling a shot against Cardiff’s far post, while Cardiff’s best effort came when Callum Paterson headed against the Swansea bar.

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“It was blood and thunder at times,” said Bluebirds manager Neil Harris. “It had everything. Some real quality, especially from us in the first half.

“Both sides hit the woodwork and there was a melee in the middle of the pitch. It was an electric atmosphere, our fans were tremendous. I really enjoyed it.

“We had to respond from the QPR game and training this week has been excellent.”

Swansea manager Steve Cooper had a niggle about the pitch surface, saying: “In the first half we played some decent stuff on quite a tough pitch.
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“The grass was long, but that’s fine, that’s their prerogative.

“We were glad when it rained at half-time because that quickened it up a little bit.

“I don’t have a problem with that. A couple of times we were caught short with our passing, but that’s our fault and our problem. I just thought it affected the game.

“It is what it is. There is no one way to play the game or one way to set conditions. We don’t want to make any excuses.”

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