Cardiff City Case For Defence-335 Goalless Minutes
Cardiff City are on an impressive four match winning streak and are unbeaten in the league all season. Whilst the big name signings have bolstered our fearsome attacking line with the acquisitions of Koumas, Bellamy and Keogh, it is the improvements to the defensive unit that has contributed to the superb start to the season.
Mark Hudson and Gabor Gyepes came in for their fair share of criticism last season, and truthfully in the 'team of 2009/10` - many would have opted for a Gerrard / Blake partnership at the back. However, both have started the season in imperious form, ousting Gerrard to Hull City and conceding just two goals in the 5 matches so far.
At present, Cardiff City have not conceded a goal for 335 minutes - no mean feat. That has been down to the good form of the aforementioned centre-backs, ever-impressive Kevin McNaughton and the likes of new signing Lee Naylor. Equally importantly, the added protection provided by Seyi Olofinjana has been crucial, while David Marshall has been alert and equal when tested.
The last time we went so long without conceding was during the excellent run to Wembley during the back end of last season when Gerrard and emergency centre-half Darcy Blake struck up their measly partnership. Ironically, we went on to concede 8 goals in the next four games, including the three heartbreaking goals at Wembley as Blackpool overpowered us. That loss of form had coincided with a defensive shake-up as Hudson returned from injury, and Gerrard picked up a niggle.
There are currently no such worries for Cardiff City with the back 5 all fully fit following McNaughton shaking off a hamstring worry and Naylor building up match fitness. Olofinjana is hopeful of playing tonight after being withdrawn as a precaution on Saturday so the Bluebirds will be hoping for another clean sheet to provide the platform for Bellamy, Burke and Co. to work their magic at the other end.
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