Date:Thursday May 12 2011
Cardiff City travel to Reading tomorrow night looking for a solid result to set us up for the home leg next Tuesday night. Playing away first is thought of as an advantage, and the majority of teams would be happy with a creditable draw meaning a home win would seal the tie.
However, Cardiff City are singularly incapable of 'playing for a draw` - we just don`t know how to play that way and if we settle, the opposition often takes control of midfield and aims to exploit our creaky defence. We took the lead at QPR but lost the game, while a typical injury time leveller from Norwich City saw us snatch a draw from the jaws of victory. Millwall also equalised in stoppage time at the Den while we required a 90th minute goal for a draw at Burnley. In fact the only away draw not settled in the dying moments was away at Reading when Jay Bothroyd`s 70th minute strike earned a point for the Bluebirds.
The top teams often grind out results away from home and come away with a point. That is not our way at all, but we are a highly capable counter-attacking unit with strong striking potential. That strength within our squad has seen us win more games away from home than any other team in the division. Our 11 wins eclipses the two promoted clubs (Norwich and QPR won 10 times on the road) but with just 4 games ending even, we seem to be an 'all or nothing` side on our travels. Reading, by contrast, have more games ending in draws than any other side.
The above means little when it comes to play-offs, but our mentality remains and we mustn`t go to Reading looking to see out the game. Cardiff City must play to our strengths and that means utilising the pace and counter-attacking ability of Bellamy, Burke, JET and co. We are perfectly capable of going and winning the game, as we`ve done on numerous occasions all season. If we sit back and play for the draw, the Bluebirds could well face a huge task to overturn a deficit come the home leg next week.
Date:Thursday May 12 2011
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