Is It Lack Of Concentration Costing Cardiff City?
Cardiff City have conceeded some sickening late goals recently - most disappointingly against high class opposition we have outplayed during the match.
The Boxing day game at Reading was a fairly even affair, but we outclassed Birmingham City for 90 minutes yet in both cases the home side fighting for automatic promotion scored a dramatic late equaliser.
Earlier in the season, Alan Gow scored in the 90+5 minute to earn a point for Blackpool whilst before that even Arturo Lupoli managed to net twice in the dying minutes as Norwich Claimed an impossible 2-2 draw.
However, while it is easy to point the finger at a lack of composure, bottle or concentration from our defenders - its a very harsh criticism of a back-line which has been miserly all season. Johnson, Gyepes, McNaughton and Kennedy have been very solid and look a well-balanced unit. It could be argued that a lack of experience in there has hurt us, but Kennedy is a calm figure while Johnson is a natural leader and has played a great deal despite his young age.
Instead, could it be a lack of a killer instinct? We should certainly have put the game beyond Birmingham City's reach, Blackpool too and Norwich we surely were beyond reach! The fact that we haven't scored 3 goals in one game is worrying as team can always pressure you late on.
With just a goal defecit win minutes to go, any team will have a renewed confidence and nothing to lose. Southend's equaliser against Chelsea? We have been guilty of not completing the victory and putting games to rest. That causes added nervousness, our midfielder drop too far and we allow possession to the opposition.
This problem can get worse. Opposition will never feel they are out of it with a single goal defecit. The points already lost are gone, yet we are still in a healthy position and have the quality to put it right.