Neil Harris has a lot to ponder after Cardiff City's disappointing opening day display. Pic: Getty Images.

Unhappy Cardiff City Manager Neil Harris Admits: We Were Architects Of Our Own Downfall

By Terry Phillips

Neil Harris faced up to the negatives of Cardiff City’s opening day SkyBet Championship defeat against Sheffield Wednesday and admitted: “We were architects of our own downfall.”

Manager Harris and his Bluebirds slumped to a 2-0 home defeat even though they dominated possession for long periods.

City had the ball for 62 per cent of the match overall, while Harris said: “That was 71 per cent over the first 45 minutes and we went in 2-0 down.

“It’s not the start I had in mind, not at all. I feel a bit sucker-punched in the sense we dominated possession. We didn’t hit the heights we have for the last nine months.

“We were undone by two poor individual moments. A bad pass by Leo (Bacuna) led to the first and then we conceded from a set piece when we lost the first contact before the second and third were really poor.

“Both goals were poor and the second really put us on the back foot.

“Our three substitutes did not have the impact we hoped for and we did not show enough to break down a back seven – five defenders and two holding midfield players.

“Overall, we did not show the qualities of a consistent championship side.

“The positives are that (Joe) Ralls had 58 minutes and (Lee) Tomlin’s 30 minutes were really important. They are not up to speed yet.

“Wide players go through peaks and troughs, but I expect more from Junior Hoilett and Josh Murphy. 

“I hope the cup tie (0-3 at Northampton Town) can be taken in isolation. They played as though it was a cup final, while we played as though it was a pre-season friendly.

“Against Sheffield Wednesday, there were too many team errors and individual errors.

“We need to be more fluent as a team. There were not enough ideas or creativity.

“The game should have ended 0-0. We have to have a clean sheet mentality.

“If we can’t score that game should end 0-0. We have to have a clean sheet mentality. When you give away the goals we did you are not going to keep clean sheets.

Jordi Osei-Tutu made his debut in Cardiff City’s defeat

“I am the first person to look at myself and ask did I pick the right team.”

Former Swansea City manager Garry Monk is in charge at Sheffield Wednesday and said: “We were excellent. We talked about it being a physical game with a lot of direct play to compete with and come out on top of. 

“We did it and finished our moments with quality. The focus was brilliant and we deserved to win.”

Kieffer Moore, Jordi Osei-Tutu and Sheyi Ojo all made their Bluebirds’ debut against Wednesday, while Ralls was in the starting line-up even thought he was ruled out of all pre-season fixtures.

It was a mixed first half by City, who started reasonably well and looks the better team over the first few minutes.

The balance changed dramatically after a  short pass by Bacuna was off target Izzy Brown set-up Josh Windass for the opener.

Jordan Rhodes added the second just before the break for a Wednesday team, who have started the season on minus 12 points.

Bluebirds manager Neil Harris sent on three substitutes and changed the shape of his team. Robert Glatzel, Josh Murphy and Lee Tomlin were sent on with Ralls, Junior Hoilett and Ojo making way.

Cardiff switched from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 with Glatzel joining Moore in attack, while Wednesday were happy to sit back, protect their lead and aim to hit their hosts on the break.

Goalkeeper Cameron Dawson was rarely trouble by City, who had looked lively going forward in the early changes only to fade badly.

 

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