Date:Friday May 2 2008
Cardiff City have struggled for goals and creativity for lengthy periods of this season. Another problem position has been that of goalkeeper, Ross Turnbull and Michale Oakes both failed to impress, Kasper Schmeichel excelled but returned to Manchester City before City found a solid performer in Peter Enckelman and the 'goals against' dried up immediately.
Throughtout the season, Roger Johnson and Glenn Loovens have established themselves as the first choice centre-back pairing. That meant club captain Darren Purse is left on the sidelines, he was not happy at first but has accepted the form of RJ and GL has been impressive and sufficient to keep them in the starting line-up.
This weekend's final Championship clash against Barnsley sees nothing much at stake for either side but Cardiff City do face a tricky decision after shipping three goals in each of their last three games. Relegated Scunthorpe United, promotion chasing Wolves and mid-table Burnley all netted three times against us.
Darren Purse lined up in the 3-3 draw against Burnley (he was later sent off, but the ban overturned), and youngster Darcy Blake slotted in at right-back. Neitehr of those is likely to start at Wembley. The last thing the Bluebirds need are injuries or suspensions ahead of the final, but should they field the strongest side against Barnsley in preparation and an attempt to shore up the leaky defence?
Capaldi, Johnson, Loovens and McNaughton will start if fit. I'd play them all against Barnsley. After Purse's ban was overturned, we now have cover in all positions at the back and there is no need to protect Johnson & Loovens.
Start with the strongest back 5, experiment in midfield and give Parry and Fowler each some time in attack. Over to you Mr Jones.....
Date:Friday May 2 2008
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