Cardiff City fans have been told they will soon be cheering Kieffer Moore again – even though his two goals slowed the Bluebirds’ promotion push.
Moore scored twice for Wigan in their 2-2 draw at the Cardiff City Stadium, where the 6ft 7in Wales striker has yet to find the net for his adopted country.
But the player who scored vital away goals for Ryan Giggs’ side on their way to successful qualification for the Euro 2020 finals, will soon have supporters in the capital cheering for him, according to Wigan manager Paul Cook.
Cardiff tried to sign Moore in the January transfer window but were rebuffed over an offer of £2.3m, with Wigan wanting at least £4m.
“Cardiff made one bid for me Kieffer and never came back,” said Cook after his Wigan side extended their recent revival with a hard-earned point in their battle to avoid relegation from the Championship.
“He has a market value and it didn’t work out, but that’s football. He’s massive for us. When he’s playing full pelt and scoring goals, he’s huge for us.
“I’m delighted for Keiffer. To come down to Cardiff and score two goals and play really well in the game, he can be really pleased.”
Cook believes 27-year-old Moore could still play at a higher level than the Championship and added: “He’s athletic and he’s got a nice touch.
“If he believed in himself then I think there would be more to come from him.
“For all players, confidence is key. He’s leading the line for Wales and if you’re leading the line for your country them you shouldn’t be short of confidence.
“I’m sure Cardiff fans will be a bit disappointed by him today, but when he puts that red shirt on again they’ll be right behind him.”
Cardiff manager Neil Harris felt four big decisions had gone against his club after Josh Murphy and then an own goal following a Marlon Pack shot meant they twice came from behind before being forced to settle for a point.
Referee John Brooks disallowed Sean Morrison’s stoppage time winner, turned down two penalty claims, and only gave a yellow card to Lee Evans for an early foul on Will Vaulks, which Harris felt should have been a red.
“If it was VAR, it’s a red card all day long,” said the former Millwall boss.
“We’re talking about 10 seconds into the game and it’s a very dangerous tackle. Does Evo just get his timing wrong? Probably. Do you expect a referee to send a player off after 15 seconds? No you don’t. Is it a red card challenge? Yes it is.
“When it’s on TV tonight and highlighted, I think people will see it’s a really dangerous tackle. So you can make that four big decisions [against Cardiff].”
On the decision to rule out Morrison’s effort because of a foul on former Cardiff keeper David Marshall, Harris added: “I’ve had the opportunity to see it back from a couple of different angles. I’ve seen an experienced keeper miss a punch and then scramble to try and make a second contact.
“We surround him but he’s on his way down trying to get back up, moving into my players.
“The referee’s got a decision in the heat of the moment. He’s got a decision to make in the first half, a penalty decision, which was correct.
“But he’s made a decision in the second half where we’ve had a shout for a penalty when [Cedric] Kipre moves his arm to the ball. Does it hit his arm? It’s hard to tell but he’s not given it to us.
“And then at the end he’s not given us a third decision. We’re frustrated four [including the Evans foul] big decisions didn’t go our way.
“It was a sucker punch at the end which has deflated a really good week for us – seven points but it should have been nine.”
Cook added: “I thought it was a fair result, but Cardiff may have felt aggrieved because of the last decision.
“The game huffed and puffed without ever getting going, but it’s been a long week for both sides.”