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Erol Bulut Insists Play-Off Chasers Cardiff City Now Believe All Over Again

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By Gareth James

Erol Bulut has hailed Cardiff City’s smash-and-grab victory over Ipswich Town as possibly their best of the season.

The Bluebirds manager has heaped praise on his players who are now just five points off the Championship play-off places after four successive victories.

The dramatic 2-1 victory over Ipswich leaves Cardiff still back in 10th place, but with nine matches remaining they are again on the margins of the promotion race.

Bulut said: “Maybe it was the best [performance of the season]. We have been really prepared. We had one day less recovery, but when we started the game I never felt we were going to lose it.

“From the first minute until the end, we could lead, we had chances. All the players were concentrated.

“When you play well and concede it’s not good, but how my players started, they finished the game.

“Life is like this, you have to believe something. We believed today we were going to win this game and we did it.”

Cardiff staged a magnificent comeback in what turned into a 100-minute match, scoring in the 95th and 100th minutes to extend their own unbeaten run to five games.

Kieffer Moore’s sixth goal in nine games looked to have set-up Ipswich for a seventh win in a row but then time turned against the Tractor Boys.

The fourth official indicated eight minutes of added time, but referee Oliver Langford played 11 – much of the added time came after a clash of heads between Moore and Dimitrios Goutas in the second half that left the Wales striker with a nasty gash above his right eye.

“If the game had finished at 90 minutes we would have been talking about a real strong away performance, but it didn’t end there and in the last 10 minutes we weren’t able to do what we needed to do,” said Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna.

“That meant we were on the end of a very disappointing end to the game. Over the course of a season, you are going to taste both sides of that kind of finish and this week we’ve experienced both.

“I think timings have been a bit erratic this year. We had a +13 minutes in a game at the start of the season, some have been +5 and sometimes a little less. It is a little bit inconsistent.”

Bulut saw fit-again star Callum O’Dowda make one and score another in as dramatic an ending as he has seen this season.

“It was a good goal from Kieffer, but it wasn’t enough,” said Bulut after seeing O’Dowda set up an equaliser for Ryan Wintle in the 95th minute before scoring the winner in the 100th winner.

“I never stopped believing we could change the game.”

Bulut also paid tribute to O’Dowda, who has spent much of the season trying to overcome various injuries.

“I am really glad for him,” he added.

“Four months, an injury, he came back and then he got injured again and has to prepare. His quality, we were never thinking negatively. He is really pushing hard until the end. I am really glad that he scored the second, winning goal.

“If you have quality around you, you have quality, really good players, football is like this with top teams.”

In a 90 minutes that produced very few clear-cut chances, it was Moore who displayed the cutting edge needed to make a breakthrough against his former club, fizzing an arrowed strike across Ethan Horvath in the 79th minute.

The game looked to be meandering towards a predictable conclusion, until a stunning stoppage-time spell where the hosts came roaring back to score twice in five incredible minutes.

Wintle netted the leveller in the 95th-minute before O’Dowda, in the 10th minute of an allotted eight-minute injury-time period, latched onto Perry Ng’s hooked cross to slam the ball home.

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