Embed from Getty Images

Erol Bulut Insists Cardiff City Cannot Consider Play-Offs Despite Closing Gap To Seven Points

s4c

By Gareth James

Erol Bulut insists he is not thinking about the play-offs, despite overseeing a third successive victory for Cardiff City.

The Bluebirds manager watched his team grind their way past Championship strugglers Huddersfield with a 1-0 home win after Famara Diedhiou’s first goal for the club.

It means Cardiff have moved into the top 10 and are only seven points behind sixth-placed Hull City with 10 matches to go.

“If you win games you feel much better,” said Bulut, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

“The last games we get our confidence back and it looks much better. We have 10 games to play and hopefully we can show much more.

“But I don’t think about the play-offs right now. We take every game by game and at the end we see what we are going to get.

“There are 30 points (to play for) and we are trying to get the maximum.

“The last four games, I’m happy. We are performing – it was not easy after the Bristol City win on Saturday, a derby – and we have to think positive.

The only goal of the game was Diedhiou’s first goal in English football since a brace for Bristol City at Middlesbrough in February 2021.

But it was enough to move Cardiff to back within seven points of the play-off places.

The on-loan Senegal striker converted Josh Bowler’s cross on the half-hour mark to put his name on a Championship scoresheet again after spells in Turkey and Spain.

Huddersfield were left to bemoan a second-half decision by referee Matthew Donohue.

Perry Ng appeared to kick out at Michal Helik in the area at a corner and was booked by Donohue, who was looking at the incident, but the official chose to take no further punishment as the ball was out of play with a corner waiting to be taken.

Huddersfield manager Andre Breitenreiter said: “There are reasons why we are 21st in the table and in the last few years nearly the same.

“It is not possible to change things in two weeks. But I learned a lot about the team and observed many things we should change because we are fighting for our lives to stay in the league.

“We need the same performance from the last two games and this was a day we should forget as soon as possible.

“I could have changed everyone after the first half, it was too slow and it was too easy for Cardiff to create chances.

“The second half we controlled the game and had big chances but you don’t deserve to get a point when it’s not 100 per cent.”

Huddersfield had not lost under new manager Andre Breitenreiter, with the German having taken four points from his first two games.

Confidence from winning at Watford and holding promotion-chasing Leeds to a draw was reflected by a bright start that saw Ben Wiles fire over after Joe Ralls made a mess of clearing Delano Burgzorg’s centre.

As the half wore on, Huddersfield’s best moments were restricted to Sorba Thomas’ dead-ball delivery.

Dimitrios Goutas, Cardiff’s Greek centre-half, got an invaluable touch on one Thomas free-kick sent into a crowded six-yard box.

Another fine ball from the Wales international ended with a Brodie Spencer header that home goalkeeper Ethan Horvath grasped.

Cardiff’s own attacks often petered out, despite Bowler being a regular threat down the right flank.

But Lee Nicholls reacted well at his near post after Karlan Grant had cut back on to his right foot to deliver both power and accuracy.

The deadlock was broken after 30 minutes as Cardiff produced a superb sweeping move out of keeping with the contest.

Ryan Wintle’s excellent cross-field pass was matched by the touch of Bowler and Diedhiou guided his cross beyond the diving Nicholls.

Huddersfield made a double change at the break – Jaheim Headley and Alex Matos replacing Spencer and Wiles – and carved out a couple of half-chances.

Burgzorg tested Horvath and Jack Rudoni headed over as Cardiff toiled to clear a corner.

Nicholls comfortably held David Turnbull’s free-kick and, after Helik had complained of being kicked by Ng, tempers continued to fray.

Cardiff goalkeeping coach Mario Galinovic was shown a red card and banished from the dugout as Huddersfield pushed for an equaliser.

Danny Ward miskicked in front of an open goal to secure his old club’s third consecutive win for the first time since September.

Huddersfield remain deep in relegation trouble, just above the bottom three by virtue of having scored more goals than 22nd-placed Stoke.

s4c

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.