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Erol Bulut Left Stunned By Damaging Defeat For Unspeakably Poor Cardiff City


By Gareth James

Erol Bulut admitted Cardiff City were unspeakably bad in a dreadful second-half display that ended with a 1-0 home defeat to Birmingham City.

Despite hosting the team with the worst current form in the Championship – and who had not won away from home since August – the Bluebirds fell to their third defeat in four games.

Their play-off hopes appear to be fading fast and having dropped to 10th in the table, Bulut decided it was time to for some truths.

The Turkish manager also suggested he would be holding internal conversations with some players over he called insufficient “connections” between some players.

Bulut said: “The first 45 minutes I think we did quite good things. The second half, we don’t need to speak about. It was not what we want to be about.

“Three minutes after 45 in the first half, the referee did not whistle, he added 45 seconds. There was no reason for that and we conceded a goal. We had to continue to concentrate and not concede.

“Second half, we made some changes but it was nothing like how we were planning to play. We planned but we did not do it.

“It was mostly individual actions – everyone trying alone to score – but alone we can’t do anything. In the second half, there was nothing good to show the supporters.”

Bulut revealed he had blunt words for his players in the dressing room and made clear his unhappiness after they have taken just seven points from their last seven matches – relegation form

“I said to them, what we’ve shown in the last two games, it’s not enough.

“ We have to show much, much more. It’s not enough. It’s not enough for the target we are focusing for.

“The connections between some players are not enough. I know some reasons. I won’t mention them here but I will mention them inside. It will be cleared.”

Birmingham manager Wayne Rooney claimed his first points away from home after Juninho Bacuna’s goal on the stroke of half-time proved enough to decide an encounter that was low on quality.

The result ends a run of eight away defeats in a row for Birmingham and five for former England striker Rooney since taking over at St Andrew’s in October.

Victory sees Rooney’s side move up two places to 16th, while Cardiff missed the chance to climb up to seventh and stay in contention for the play-off places, instead dropping to 10th.

Rooney said: “We knew coming here would be a tough game. Cardiff are a team who stay in games and nick three points.

“In the first half we took the ball and made it difficult at times for Cardiff. They had moments, especially at set-pieces – Cardiff are the best in the league at set-pieces – so we struggled at times with that but thankfully we got the goal before half-time.

“I was more pleased with the second half. We didn’t give them any chances and we didn’t look like conceding a goal and had two or three really good chances.

“I’m really pleased with the performance but it’s been a difficult few weeks for everyone result-wise, so tonight it was important to get the result. I’m delighted for the players.”

Siriki Dembele tested Runar Runarsson from a tight angle in the early stages before Birmingham’s midfield pair carved out a chance for Jay Stansfield but the Fulham loanee fired his effort across goal.

Cardiff lost defender Perry Ng to a head injury – he was replaced by Mahlon Romeo after just 13 minutes – but had plenty of chances of their own in a lively first half.

Birmingham goalkeeper John Ruddy almost put the ball into his own net when he failed to gather a high ball and forward Kion Etete twice shot over the crossbar from Yakou Meite deliveries.

Ryan Wintle was also a threat with his set-piece deliveries as Dimitrios Goutas’ header had Ruddy scrambling low to his right.

Birmingham’s Lee Buchanan and Cardiff’s Etete both fired efforts over the crossbar as both teams continued to create chances, so it was no surprise that the first half should provide a goal in the third minute of added time.

Cardiff felt Etete was fouled when he lost possession but referee Stephen Martin waved play on and Birmingham took off upfield.

Jordan James and Dembele combined to release Bacuna who calmly rounded the onrushing Runarsson to finish into an empty net.

Cardiff began the second half on the front foot but had two early penalty appeals waved away by Martin and boss Erol Bulut was forced into early chances with the introduction of Callum Robinson and Josh Bowler.

However, it was Birmingham who looked most likely to grab a second.

Stansfield timed his run perfectly to break the Cardiff offside trap but his tame effort went straight into Runarsson’s hands.

Moments later and centre-back Emanuel Aiwu snatched at a chance from five yardsafter James fired in a volley.

Cardiff gradually ran out of ideas and energy, though Rubin Colwill had a chance to snatch a draw with the final effort of the game only to fire his free-kick straight at Ruddy.


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