Cardiff City's shocking run
A shocking display against the division's bottom placed club with the worst goal difference record saw Cardiff limp sorrowfully away from play-off pack again, going down by 1-0 against Southend United.
Cardiff have not won in the league now since a 1-0 win over Burnley back in November. They are without a goal in almost 450 minutes of action since Steve Thompson's brace against Plymouth Argyle on Boxing Day.
Against Southend, City created chances (and so they should) but Purse, Loovens, Gilbert and Ferettin all missed when they should really have done better. In fact, of those four chances - only Gilbert's pathetically weak header from 6 yards was on target. Of those 4 best chances, it is indicative of Cardiff's lacklustre attacking play that 3 fell to defenders and two from set-pieces.
The side is crying out for an attack minded midfielder to add some flair and creativity. There's no point moaning about what could have been, but Jason Koumas would fill the role perfectly for City. We've missed the chance with him, but desperately need someone to call upon when McPhail and Scimeca are off form such as Saturday. Neither was prepared to drive forward, opting instead for short, risk-free passes or aimless chips forward to strikers unable to compete in the air.
The defence played solidly again, and is the one bright spot for City at the moment, Purse and Loovens were exemplary while Gilbert and McNaughton were happy to support although neither made an impression when they did. New signing Peter Whittingham showed some nice touches and a willingness to attack at least adding some fresh impetus to the team.
All-in-all another disappointing result and performance in a streak that has seen an end to any automatic promotion hopes, and the continuation of play-off hopes depends on seeing this run ended very soon. The acquisition of new faces is essential, with a striker and creative midfielder a must. The takeover deal goes through today, and some money will be made available - spend it wisely Mr Jones.