By Paul Jones
Curtis Nelson plans to feel the love of Cardiff City fans tonight and enjoy his own time in the sun.
The Bluebirds defender – whose little brother Wes made the final of Love Island in 2018 alongside his now ex-girlfriend Megan Barton Hanson – is determined to clinch the point his team need to secure their play-off spot.
A win or draw at home to Hull City on Wednesday would mean Nelson, 27, could couple up with Brentford, Fulham and Nottingham Forest in the Championship play-offs.
Younger brother Wes, 22, isn’t the only Nelson to have made the spotlight. His cousins Ashleigh and Alexander have also starred in athletics as sprinters.
“My family have all done really well in their various sporting fields. I don’t know what profession my brother does, but he’s done really well at that too! It’s definitely my turn now,” Nelson said.
“They’re really supportive of me. My cousin Ashleigh is probably the most supportive as the two of us are still competing. We both understand how each other’s career works.
“My brother has been brilliant, too, and we all speak regularly.”
Cardiff know a home win or draw against crisis club Hull tonight will seal sixth place whatever rivals Swansea City manage at Reading.
Nelson has grafted hard all season to win a place in the Bluebirds’ side and has been a regular since Neil Harris succeeded Neil Warnock as boss in November.
“When I signed the manager said he wanted to go straight back up and the same message has been echoed with the new manager,” said Nelson, who joined from Oxford last summer.
“It’s something we expected to happen. We would obviously have liked to have gone up automatically, but we’ll take going through the play-offs.
“Hopefully we still have four games to go, but Hull is the main priority. Nothing in football is ever straightforward. If you take anything as that you can become arrogant or complacent.
“But it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t go into a game not believing we could win. We never go into a game expecting to lose. We need to go and make it happen.”
Cardiff have been in fine form since football returned and are firm favourites to seal sixth spot. Harris’s men could still catch Forest and finish fifth.
Forwards Junior Hoilett and Lee Tomlin are doubts to face a Hull side who must win in the Welsh capital to avoid the dreaded drop to League One.
“This season has been pleasing on a personal level, but for me the goal is promotion. If we get promoted I’ll come straight back in the next day,” said Nelson.
“We’ve got experience throughout the squad.
“That’s helped me in my first year and I’ve enjoyed playing under the pressure. It’s easy to say we only need a point from the Hull game, but we’re going for all three.”
Harris says he’s proved the doubters wrong with Cardiff on the verge of the play-offs.
Harris succeeded the popular Warnock in November and his appointment failed to please many who wanted a bigger name.
But Harris could still take his team back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
“I’d like to think I’ve proven to the loyal fan base I can lead the club forward,” said Harris.
“I didn’t have a remit I had to make the top six, but I felt the players were good enough to make it. I’m as positive as ever and I want us to be successful as a group.
“Whether that ends with the play-offs or promotion, I feel we’re heading in the right direction.
“It’s a crazy league. That’s why we love it. The Championship continually surprises. I didn’t see Brentford losing to Stoke and neither did Slaven Bilic, probably. It’s crazy and that’s why we enjoy it. So, no, I’m not taking anything for granted.”