Cardiff Start Brightly, But Fade Against Celtic
Cardiff City's first appearance at the CCS under Malky Mackay ended in a 1-0 defeat by SPL side Celtic - the Scottish outfit start their season shortly and were ahead of the Bluebirds in terms of preparation. However, that didn't stop Cardiff City impressing in the first 20 minutes.
Makcay's starting XI featured new signings Taylor, Cowie, Gunnarsson and Mason while there was a welcome return for Anthony Gerrard. We looked bright, and confident though did lack width and a cutting edge. Jon Parkin got away on occasions and should relly have scored when set free by Whittingham - but the 'Beast' failed even to test Stipe Pletikosa in the Hoops' goal.
Celtic came more into the game from that point, and in truth were the better side. Kris Commons fired narrowly wide, and saw a powerful free-kick saved by Marshall. THe only goal of the came came when a deflected cross was steered home by Anthony Stokes after stealing between Gerrard and Naylor.
The second half was slow paced and more akin to a training game, though our lack of creativity and attacking threat was noticable. More options are needed to solve this problem and while Parkin and Mason worked hard, they were unable to make any impact during the second half.
Some positives, some worries but a decent run-out for a number of key players. The team are still gelling and this was the bioggest test of pre-season so far against a better prepared squad. Above all others, the game was a crucial learning process for new manager Malky Mackay.