Cardiff City manager Steve Morison. Pic: Getty Images.

Cardiff City Boss Steve Morison Is Focussed On Derby Clash Against Swansea City . . . And “Interesting” Reunion

By Adam Cleary

Cardiff City boss Steve Morison is counting down the days to the South Wales derby against Swansea City.

Morison’s side are now heading into a 17-day break before their next game – the Welsh derby against the Swans, a fixture which saw the seccond city club emerge as comfortable 3-0 winners back in October.

But since Morison came in as manager the following month, he has overseen a steady transformation in the Bluebirds’ fortunes – firstly pulling them away from the relegation zone and more recently consolidating their postion in the middle tier of the Championship.

Their 2-1 win over Stoke City on Wednesday night was Cardif’s third in four unbeaten matches and the former Wales striker is looking forward to testing himself against counterpart Russell Martin on April 2.

“Swansea won against Peterborough, they’ve got another game between now and then whilst we have a long time without a game,” said Morison.

“We’ve got a lot of players going on international duty and it’ll be the longest break we’ve had.

“But I’ve known Russ a long time, and it’ll be a 36-year-old and a 38-year-old standing on the touchline for one of the biggest derbies in the country, which will be interesting.”

Morison was delighted with the way his side came back from an early Stoke goal to claim all three points at the Cardiff City Stadium.

 

The visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute when Lewis Baker’s long range shot beat Alex Smithies in the Cardiff goal.

However, the Bluebirds hit back with first half goals from Tommy Doyle and Jordan Hugill to seal the win and Morison was clearly a happy man.

“I’m proud as punch and I told them that in the changing room” said Morison.

“It’s been a tough seven weeks, hell of a lot games and we’ve ended it 18 points above the bottom three on 46 points. We’re in one hell of a good place.

“We didn’t deserve to be 1-0 down in the first half, and we got the just rewards for our performance being 2-1 up at half time.

“Anyone who wants to question the players attitude, application, those are the type of performances which put all of that to bed.”

Morison was full of praise for his players who had to dig in to get three points against a Stoke team they now find themselves level on points with.

“I thought Tommy in that slightly advanced role was excellent, Cody was his usual self and Sparky has come in and been excellent” added Morison.

“Jordan gets a goal that I think he’s deserved. The lads at the back have defended for their lives and Ralls and Wintle put in a shift too. It was an all-round top performance.

“Our level of consistent performance has gone up, we’ve been consistently decent. Our average is higher and we were excellent tonight.”

Morison was particularly pleased for January loanees Doyle and Hugill who deservedly found themselves on the score sheet.

“We spoke about goals and assists from Tommy before the game when talking about what he could improve on and that was making sure he plays forward more than he has done to get goals and assists. He’s then gone and scored a goal tonight,” explained Morison.

“Jordan works tirelessly for the team, does all of the horrible stuff and tonight he showed his quality and composure in the moment.

“It’s really pleasing to go away on international break with a win, we’re four unbeaten and we’re on 46 points which is a decent number.”

Cardiff are without a game for two and half weeks as their scheduled clash with Middlesbrough on Saturday has been postponed due to ‘Boro’s FA Cup exploits before a two week international break.

It means that Cardiff’s next game will see them host rivals Swansea on April 2nd – a clash which will throw Morison up against his former Norwich City teammate and current Swansea boss Martin.

 

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