Pace Please Malky Mackay !
Cardiff City manager opted for a 4-5-1 line-up for what was always going to be a difficult trip to Nottingham Forest over the weekend so Don Cowie slotted into midfield and Tommy Smith took up a wide right position. Robbed of Bellamy and Nicky Maynard by injury, a tough ask became a damning defeat and we looked a very ordinary side until the latter stages.
The catalyst behind City's late rally was the introduction of Craig Noone. While Tommy Smith is a naturay inside forward and provides great intelligence and width, he is past 30 and is by no means a speed merchant. The other flank saw Craig Conway providing the width, but whilst an accurate crosser and willing runner - 'The Bull' is not your architypal flying winger.
Without Bellamy and Maynard, City do lack pace. Craig Noone has plenty, while Joe Mason is not slow and has excellent movement to create space for himself and others. None of those four were selected against Forest, and we posed little threat - allowing Forest to get a firm grip on the game that they never looked like losing.
Tonight sees Watford visit 'fortress' CCS. Malky will surely be comtemplating changes and hopefully an influx of pace will be his focus. Whether two up front, or bringing in pace on the flanks - we must improve tonight and get a result.
Craig Noone seems highly likely to start tonight's game, but anothyer major positive for Cardiff City is the return of explosive forward Craig Bellamy after injury. Whether selected from the start, or held in reserve his contribution can always win matches and one thing he certainly has in abundance - is pace.