Cardiff City Must Deal With McCormack Threat
Cardiff City have struggled in defense at times this season, conceding too many goals and looking incredibly vulnerable when under pressure. Conceding 3 to a desperately poor Barnsley outfit was disappointing, especially having leaked 4 to hand Peterborough all three points previously.
Today's opposition are Leeds United, a team looking for the play-offs this season and who are a dangerous attacking outfit with plenty of goals in them. One man who epitomises that needs no introduction to Bluebirds fans, but Ross McCormack is in superb form at the moment and wil pose a constant threat.
McCormack excelled early in his Cardiff City career, but circumstances contrived to thwart his rise at the Bluebirds. Key to this was his own versatility and Dave Jones began to utilise his as a winger rather than his preferred striker role. This was ever more common when Michael Chopra returned to the club, initially on loan but permanently thereafter.
Chopra is an excellent striker at this level, but so was McCormack - though he was clearly 2nd best in Dave Jones' mind and McCormack was left on the bench, and used out wide when he did play - to his obvious frustration. Whilst unhappy on the pitch, McCormack then attracted trouble off it and crashed his car when over the alcohol limit - landing himself with a court appearance and driving ban.
At the start of last season, McCormack departed to join Leeds United. Most agreed, it was probably for the best as he needed to play regularly and Jones would always favour Chopra. We also managed to bring Bellamy in, so McCormack would really have struggled for gametime.
However, the £300K fee always lookked far too small, and so it has proved both at times last season and throughout this - he leads the scoring charts for the division with nine goals (including a fine overhead kick) and is in superb form.
Ben Turner and Mark Hudson look certain to line-up in the heart of the Cardiff City defence and will look to keep McCormack quiet. We cannot affort to leave space in behind, or anywhere within the penalty area while the deep lying midfielders like McPhail and Gunnarsson will need to prevent McCormack from running at Mark Hudson in particular. Hudson is a powerful defender, but slow to turn and highly vulnerable when confronted by pacy and skilful players like Rosco.