Erol Bulut

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Cardiff City Manager Erol Bulut applauds the travelling fans after the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Cardiff City at Bet365 Stadium on November 04, 2023 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Ben Roberts Photo/Getty Images)

Cardiff City Boss Erol Bulut Says Squad Is Too Small For Promotion Push

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By Gareth James

Erol Bulut wants to hit the January sales and look for items that move Cardiff City from pretenders to contenders for promotion.

Cardiff host Norwich City on Saturday with the club looking to maintain their promotion challenge against rivals many thought would be better placed in the Championship at this stage than 17th.

Bulut’s men are seventh – just outside the play-offs – but the Turkish chief feels he needs to strengthen in the January window.

He also believes he will be backed by owner Vincent Tan as he awaits the lifting of the transfer embargo imposed on the club after the Emiliano Sala affair.

“I think we have to act because this two to two-and-a-half months will be hard with injuries and cards,” he said.

“Our squad is not the biggest squad, we will use everything we have.

“We will give our best to stay where we are right now close to the play-offs. We got this far with hard work and we will not give it away. All my players know this.

“I hope in January when we can get a few players we can add more quality that we can go through.”

Having recently lost to leaders Leicester City at home, Swansea City now face the club in second place in the table, Ipswich Town, at home on Saturday.

Kieran McKenna’s team have lost just one of their first 14 league games. But that sole defeat came on home soil against Leeds, while they have 11 wins to their name.

Wales striker Nathan Broadhead already has six goals for the Tractor Boys this term and Duff does not hide the size of the task for his mid-table team.

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Duff said: “I know them pretty well having faced them over the last couple of seasons, they have a number of players who have been together for a long time, and they have some momentum behind them.

“We showed great character last weekend, but we have to go and show the same character and same belief, and look to be better with the ball in our own way.”

Wrexham will be without star striker Paul Mullin as well as winger James McClean when they host Gillingham in League Two.

Both players are suspended after picking up five yellow cards as Wrexham bid to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 matches.

Manager Phil Parkinson is frustrated by the absence of both key men and believes referees are showing yellow cards too easily for minor offences.

“The Mullin booking, when he ran to take a throw-in against Sutton was ridiculous,” said Parkinson.

“He ran to pick the ball up to take the throw – George Evans had just passed the ball off the pitch and it was never a booking.

“But once refs get it in their mind that they’ve been told to clamp down, certainly in the first third of the season, they go overboard and I think that’s what you’re seeing and it’s not just us.”

Newport County are at home to MK Dons on Saturday, looking to build on their mini-revival that has earned them two wins in three matches in all competitions.

County are still back in 20th in the table, but remarkably are still only eight points off the play-off positions with 30 League matches still to play.

The Dons are only four points shy of seventh spot, but Newport boss Graham Coughlan reckons something is just starting to stir at Rodney Parade.

“I would like to think our players have a degree of confidence,” said Coughlan.

“We weren’t supposed to be able to live with Gillingham and it might be the same case with MK Dons.

“But this is Newport County, we are a different breed and take pride in the David and Goliath scenarios.”

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