Cardiff are in with a shot at the play-offs. Neil Harris’ men have started to turn the many draws into crucial wins, meaning the Bluebirds sit three points outside of the play-off spots.
But who stands in their way? At present Preston occupy sixth place, but Bristol City and Blackburn are also above the Bluebirds.
Assuming that West Brom and Leeds secure top two spots, it means that Cardiff are fighting Fulham, Brentfor, Nottingham Forest, Preston, Blackburn, Bristol City and Millwall for the play-off spots.
We spoke to fans of these clubs to get their view on the fight for the play-offs.
Fulham – Sammy James, Fulhamish (@@MrSammyJames)
“After Saturday’s result to Barnsley, I think Fulham fans are in a bit of an existential crisis. Yes, we’re third and only three points off Leeds – but can a team that’s had its pants pulled down twice by Barnsley really be an automatic promotion contender.
I’m 99% sure that Fulham will finish in the top 6. Our squad is at such a level that it will win games just through the individual quality of our players. However, what happens beyond that I’m unsure. I don’t think our squad has enough creativity to win tough play-off matches against bigger sides.”
Brentford – LGBeeTs (@LGBT_Bees)
“It is a massively exciting time right now, with the league position, the football we are watching but also with the countdown to the last match at Griffin Park and life at the new stadium. It’s a strange time, there’s almost the feeling that football as we know it will finish at the end of this season, which I think is adding to people’s desire for the fairytale ending of automatic promotion (even more than usual!).”
What will make or break your quest for the play-offs?
“Fitness and to a lesser extent mentality. I think we have enough options up front that we should be able to keep scoring even if we were to lose a couple. We are much thinner in defence so we need to keep everyone healthy there or we could drop a good dew points. On the other hand if everyone stays fit, and Pontus is able to return soon, we could be able to get a bit further up the table.”
How you see the rest of the season going/the four you think will finish in play-off places?
“I think with our goal difference unless we go on a really horrible run we should be ok for the playoffs. I would say for most fans we are being uncharacteristically optimistic in feeling like automatic is still achievable. I think most of the top 6 are probably set barring a disaster of form, with the last place between anyone down to probably Millwall.”
Nottingham Forest – Lost That Loving Feeling (@LTLF)
“It’s been a long time since Forest fans have had this much hope of promotion, though we’ve also had enough false dawns to remain cautious. Personally I think we lack strength in depth – one or two injuries to key players could scupper our chances of automatic, as was shown when we rested them against Charlton last week. I’d back our best XI in the play-offs though.”
Bristol City – Gregor MacGregor, Bristol Live (@GeeMacGee)
“The main aim is for Bristol City to improve their home form – and if they do that then they’ve got every chance of making the top six. The Robins have only won three of their last nine home games and rank equal 15th on points won at Ashton Gate, while only one other side (West Brom) has taken more points on the road than City. So Lee Johnson needs to get things going in BS3. To that end, the recent January signings of Wells, Benkovic and Henriksen should help – as all have good experience of playing at this level or above – though it may take some time to bed them down and find a way to incorporate them. But therein lies the hope for Bristol City fans, as the race for the play-offs is likely to be close right down to the final matches. I think Bristol City will be right in that al the way to the end. And might just nick a spot, alongside Brentford, Forest and Leeds.”
Blackburn – RoversChat (rovers_chat)
“Rovers are definitely in the play-off mix, sitting just six points outside the top six as we speak. We’ve had a decent season and we’ve definitely got better defensively which was needed after a dire record last season – we conceded 69 times!
I don’t think we’ll make the top six in all honesty. We seem to go on six or seven match unbeaten runs, but then we follow them up with four or five matches without a win. I think this will stop us breaking into the play-offs come May.
For the rest of the season, I feel we’ll stay around the top six without actually threatening to break in, and then we’ll probably tail off in the last month or so and finish 11th or 12th.
My prediction is for West Brom and Brentford to finish in the top two, and then I’ll go for Fulham, Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City to make up the top six.”
Millwall – Lucas Ball (@LucasBall2211)
“There’s been an impressive turnaround at The Den since the October appointment of Gary Rowett. Few sides have taken more points than the Lions since the former Stoke boss took over, and that’s given us an outside chance of reaching the play-offs.
One point from our last three matches has reduced those chances, but the gap is only five points and there is a chance still.
We need someone else to step up if we are to make it. Of our numerous options at left wing, no one has laid down a real market and made the spot their own – placing too much responsibility on right winger Jed Wallace. Hopefully, Mason Bennett can impress when fit and give the Lions an attacking threat from the other side of the pitch. Defensively, we’re generally quite strong – though Sunday’s performance against West Brom was a poor showing.
I think we’ll continue in a relatively good run of form but, ultimately, I believe we’ll fall just short of the top six in the end, with the season closing out as one of mid-table respectability.
Predicted top six:
Thanks to all for their contributions.