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Aaron Ramsey Is Great . . . But He’s Not Essential, Says Cardiff City Boss Erol Bulut

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By Gareth James

Erol Bulut insists Cardiff City have proved they can cope when they are without Aaron Ramsey.

The Bluebirds manager watched his team overcome Coventry City, 3-2, at home on Tuesday night, despite being without their talismanic captain.

Ramsey was absent after Bulut feared his captain may be about to turn stiffness into injury, but his team coped well enough to make it back-to-back victories following their 2-0 derby triumph over Swansea City.

The win lifted Cardiff to ninth place in the Championship, just a point off the play-off places.

“We rested Aaron (Ramsey) because he had a problem with stiffness in the second game with Wales and again in the final minutes against Swansea and I already have enough injuries,” said Bulut.

“We need all our players; Aaron is a great player and we showed today when he’s not on the field we can replace him with other players.

“Maybe we can keep the ball better with him, create more chances, but the guys on the field showed all the team is important, not the individual.”

Dimitrios Goutas and Karlan Grant both scored their first goals for Cardiff as the Bluebirds made it back-to-back wins in the Championship for the first time this season.

Kion Etete polished things off for the home side with a goal with his first touch in the 84th minute.

Matt Godden scored twice for the visitors, levelling the scores in the first half and then heading home his second in the 95th minute.

Bulut added: “Saturday was a great victory, but we couldn’t celebrate too much because of this game, we had to rest and work.

“This was a hard game against a very good team and I’d told my players we had to work very hard, we had to go 100% for 100 minutes, to get these three points and we must continue the same every game.

“We are learning from mistakes we have made before and we are looking forward. It is always good to have victories, but we must continue.

Coventry manager Mark Robins said: “We didn’t start the game with the tempo we wanted which was disappointing. They are organised with some good players, but we weren’t brave enough and didn’t get on the ball.

“We went a goal down without laying a glove on them. The goal gave us a bit of a lift, but we’re normally braver and better on the ball than that and we didn’t do enough.

“We had a lot of possession, but it’s vanity if you don’t do anything with it. We’ve scored two goals away from home, but three poor goals conceded and we have players who are better than that and can defend better than that.

“We are scoring goals, but certain performances have been lacklustre and we are going to have to work.

“We know we are going to be without Ben Sheaf for a minimum six weeks so that’s a blow.”

Bulut opted to rest Wales skipper Ramsey after his two games for club and country last week but rewarded Ollie Tanner for scoring his first goal for the club in the win over Swansea by giving him his first start at home in the Championship.

It had taken Tanner a mere 40 seconds to score with his first touch after coming on at the weekend and he was the first into the thick of the action for the Bluebirds playing in a wide right position as he tested the Coventry defence.

He flashed a header past the post in the fifth minute and then saw Greek defender Goutas follow in his footsteps three minutes later by scoring his first goal for the club as he powered home a free header from a Joe Ralls corner.

Coventry arrived in the Welsh capital sitting two places above their hosts but on the same number of points. Having absorbed most of the pressure in the opening half-hour, they hit back in the 33rd minute from a corner.

Jak Alnwick punched the ball away from his goal, but only as far as the edge of the D. Milan van Ewijk immediately stroked a pass to his left to skipper Liam Kelly, whose first-time touch into the area found Godden to turn on the edge of the six-yard box and bag the equaliser.

It was his fifth goal in eight games to underline just why the Sky Blues were so keen to get him to sign a new contract last month.
All of a sudden there was a real spring in the step of the visitors and when Tatsuhiro Sakamoto was introduced eight minutes into the second half they got even livelier.

Cardiff, though, regained the lead just after the hour mark after they swept the play upfield and Ralls carried across field to give Tanner and Wintle the chance to combine on the right. It was Wintle’s measured cross that enabled West Brom loanee Grant to stoop low and head home from eight yards.

Etete fired across goal to hit the left corner to make it a two-goal lead and though Godden scored his second of the night in the fifth of the 10 added minutes it was too little, too late.

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