Date:Thursday September 11 2008
Cardiff City play host to local rivals Bristol City this weekend, we spoke to Wurzels fan Ben Small ahead of the game:
Aspirations for the season?
Well last season certainly made things interesting and I thought it was always going to be crucial how City started this term. I'd be quite happy with finishing in the top ten to be honest and I look around and think that you could argue a case that nine other teams are better than us. We've only been in this division a couple of years and I just hope the curse of the losing playoff finalists doesn't strike. We seem to have started well though and I would be delighted if we got into the playoffs again and had another run at trying to get into the Premiership.
Happy with the start?
So far I think we've started ok, i'd rather be fourth from top than fourth from bottom thats for certain. We got off to a good start with a couple of last victories and then destroyed Coventry away which was encouraging. The only worrying thing has been our home form as we've picked up 2 out of a possible 6 points. If we are going to be challenging up there then we need to make sure we take points off teams like Derby, no disrespect, but sides who will be near the top like Brum and Reading would beat them. In all honesty though we have made a rod for our own backs by being successful and now teams see getting a point away to us as a good result.
Happy with the summer transfer dealings?
We didn't do loads of business but I think we got what we needed in Nicky Maynard, a fast striker who can play off the bigger lads like trundle and adebole. John Akinde is an interesting piece of business as well, it's nice to see people from the lower divisions getting a chance to prove they are good enough, he will play without fear thats for sure and I hope he can make the step up. The only problem we might have is our tremendously poor injury record, we've managed to pick up at least two minor knocks each game so far and we could be struggling at the back if this continues.
Player to watch Saturday?
In my personal opinion you can talk all you want about manager, systems and tactics but i think in the Championship strikers are the key to getting promotion, therefore I'd consider Maynard to be the player to watch. He's lively going forward and at 21 he still has plenty to offer. He might have only got one goal this season but you can be sure that if chances are created for him he will score.
If you could have one Cardiff City player on a free - who and why?
I don't know how he's done for you so far or if he's had chance to make an appearance but I like Eddie Johnson, I'm suprised he hasn't been given a bit more of a chance at Fulham to be honest. In the US he came across as a bit of a flash Harry but I think he just has plenty of confidence and needs a chance to prove his quality. I think he'll do well in the Championship and like Maynard he's quick with a good eye for goal, you don't get linked with Man Utd for no reason as he was before he moved to Fulham and I think he'll prove why over the season. As far as your other players go, I think Peter Whittingham is also quality, I never understood why Villa let him go. During the cup run last season he was quality, paticularily against Boro in the quarters. Sometimes he comes across as a bit inconsistent but I think he's more suited to playing in bigger games because he has good vision and can deliver when the game is on the line.
Prediction for the game?
We've done pretty well away from home so far but Ninian Park isn't the easiest place to get a win which means predictably I have to sit on the fence and go for a draw. I don't think it'll be scoreless though, 1-1 probably. We've both scored plenty of late goals this season so don't be suprised if there is a late one on Saturday!
Many thanks to Ben for his answers. Let's hope for an excellent Severnside derby, and of course a Cardiff City win!
Date:Thursday September 11 2008
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