Date:Monday March 8 2010
Cardiff City have had somewhat of a torrid time over the last few weeks, both on and off the field. The 1-0 win over Middlesbrough was an excellent victory for the Bluebirds, with some inspiring performances on show. McNaughton was, once again, outstanding. Marshall very solid, Darcy Blake tenacious and effective while Gavin Rae put in his best shift of 2010.
However, one of the most pleasing improvements was in the centre-back area where Gabor Gyepes and Anthony Gerrard were immense. Strong, commanding and fearless - the two defenders were the bedrock of the victory and although Lita and co. threatened - the defence stood strong and kept out a very good, and in-form, side for 90 minutes.
Gyepes has always looked his best on the right side of defence, and we have struggled with him operating on the left with a number of goals conceded through the gap between he and Mark Kennedy. Clearly, McNaughton is an altogether better defender than Kennedy (who spent most of his years in midfield) but Gyepes looked more confident as well as effective on Saturday.
In the absence of Mark Hudson, who has also taken his share of criticism this season, we have looked weaker at the back. Both Gerrard and Gyepes like the physical side of the game, and are happy to get stuck in. Therefore, Saturday's game was good for both and this was surely their best Bluebirds game as a partnership.
Forget Quinn, Kennedy, Comminges and Capaldi. Saturday's back four of McNaughton, Matthews, Gerrard and Gyepes is the best we have, and should therefore play. This combination is the only one to rival the Johnson/Loovens success - we just have to keep them all fit.
Date:Monday March 8 2010
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