Preston North End's Daniel Johnson sees his shot saved by Cardiff City's Alex Smithies. Pic: Getty Images.

Cardiff City Boss Steve Morison Insists The Positive Of A Dull 0-0 At Home Is That Earlier In The Season, It Would Have Been 0-1

By David Williams

Cardiff keeper Alex Smithies dented Preston’s hopes of making the play-offs but bosses Steve Morison and Ryan Lowe reckoned both teams could have called a truce after 60 seconds.

This was a game that had 0-0 not just written all over it, but under it and through it – like a seaside stick of rock.

It was a contest that fell asleep almost as soon as it kicked off and although it roused itself in the final 15 minutes, it ended by hitting the snooze button.

“It was a 0-0 game, it had 0-0 written all over it from the first minute, and it ended with both managers shaking hands and agreeing it was boring,” admitted Cardiff manager Morison.

“But it was game that we might have lost a few months back and we haven’t, so that is a positive.”

It would have been lost – and won for Preston, whose need was greater to inject their play-off bid – if Smithies had not stood tall when Daniel Johnson caught the home defence off guard.

The Jamaican international nipped through a crowded goalmouth but when the midfielder attempted to land the decisive blow with 18 minutes to go, Smithies’ instincts took over and he deflected the ball wide.

 

All the meaningful action was compressed into that final quarter, with Cameron Archer and Alan Browne going close, but not close enough for Preston.

Cardiff chucked on the muscular figure of Uche Ikpeazu from the bench and his strength in bumping off tacklers created his own openings.

But just as Smithies had come to Cardiff’s rescue, Daniel Iversen in the Preston goal earned his corn to deny the Bluebirds substitute.

Morison added: “It’s two teams that played exactly the same shape, exactly the same amount of shots, exactly the same number of shots on target. They had a few more passes than us.

“They didn’t create anything either. It was just one of those games. We had moments, but it’s definitely not a time to be worrying about any negatives, you have to concentrate on the positives because we have to keep on that upward curve.”

The draw leaves Preston six points shy of the play-offs and manager Ryan Lowe admitted: “We had some chances, but if you can’t win then you make sure you don’t lose.

 

a point each in this afternoon’s thriller 🤥 in Cardiff, EFL Skybet Championship Cardiff City 0 Preston NE 0, pics by Andrew Orchard pic.twitter.com/yzTMyXEuNL

“We had the best chances to go and win the game and I’m disappointed we didn’t have the cutting edge and that bit of quality in the final third.

“You look at the points we could have had, and we’d be in a different position,” he added.

“It’s a nightmare, when you look at it like that. You think to yourself that it could be better.

“But it’s a relentless league with some good teams and you’ve got to earn the right to take points and it’s not for the lack of trying. We are only six points off and the league can throw up anything.

“There’s no pressure on my lads. I just want to have a good end to the season and if the points take us closer then, who knows, we might get a bit excited.”

 

Cardiff might even have snatched what would have been a third successive victory in injury time but when Jordan Higill bundled the ball home, Ikpeazu was called up for a shove seconds before.

“Initially, I thought it was a goal but having had the opportunity to see it again it was the right call,” said Morison.

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