View from the opposition: It’s on a wing and a prayer for Bluebirds
- Credit: PA
Cardiff City fan Leigh Sanders, a journalist for the Express and Star in the Midlands, previews today's game against Norwich City.
Are Cardiff fans satisfied with the team's start to the season?
Most I think are not happy. Cheap option again as boss in Paul Trollope, underwhelming signings in places and same in performances. Unlucky not to beat Birmingham on day one but have been bland since. Not a lot of goals. But what do they expect when the remit is sell high earners and replace with cheap options?
What is the realistic aim for the season? Is a play-off push possible?
The club are preaching promotion push again. But look at the players we lost again over the summer. If we can repeat our near-miss on the play-offs once more this season we will have done very well. We are hard to beat and Trollope has us playing the 'Wales way' after his time coaching under Chris Coleman. But we lack attacking mobility.
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Rickie Lambert was your only signing on deadline day. How have the events of August 31 been received?
Most fans are pleased with Lambert if he can prove a missing piece of the jigsaw. There is hope his past relationship with Trollope at Bristol Rovers will reignite. Our goalkeeping replacements for David Marshall were underwhelming. And we were all crying out for a No10. We were just worried about outgoings rather than incomings.
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Seven players were signed earlier in the summer. How have the new boys fitted in?
We were all pleased to see Lex Immers make his loan move permanent, and equally perplexed to see Kenneth Zohore do so. With the relationship between club and fans at a real low, Trollope's policy of Welsh youngsters like Jazz Richards and Emyr Huws coming in was a good plan. Joe Bennett from Villa could be astute.
Fans' favourite, and former Norwich keeper, David Marshall left for Hull. Were fans disappointed with his departure?
Absolutely. It was another nail in the coffin of our ambition. He was a huge fan favourite, and with Peter Whittingham ageing it placed real emphasis on players like Bruno Manga, our last real star, in a young and inexperienced side. Marshall deserves another shot at the Premier League, though. Nobody held it against him.
What Cardiff players should Canaries fans be looking out for this afternoon?
Another former Canary, Anthony Pilkington, was our star player last year. He has struggled so far in the new 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation, but he and Craig Noone remain our only real pace and drive. Lambert will hopefully hit the ground running, and at the back any three of Manga, Matt Connelly, Sean Morrisson and Lee Peltier are a formidable back three.
Do you expect Norwich to get promoted?
Their squad is fantastic at this level. Their defence is questionable at times but the players in front of them are so good a lot of teams won't even get that far up the pitch. What also works in their favour is nobody likes going there. It is a lovely place, you just lose an entire day getting there and back.
Which of the Canaries' players will Cardiff be most wary of?
Two words - Cameron Jerome. He is still hated in Cardiff for how he engineered his move to Birmingham. We like to see very few players fail more, which also means he is most likely to score against us. Wes Hoolahan is still a quality player too and we would love to have him in our formation.
And finally, what is your score prediction?
Away from home, unless we have a few quality breaks it is hard for us to break teams down. We scored some belters at Fulham last month, likewise at Wolves in January, and that is normally our best bet. If Norwich score first it is game over, 2-0 home win. But we always have Whittingham's set-pieces in the locker.