Embed from Getty Images

Neil Harris Insists Cardiff City Stalemate Has Not Soured Their Promotion Push

By Terry Phillips

Neil Harris insists the glass is half full for Cardiff City despite the setback of their goalless draw at home to Charlton on Tuesday night.

The Cardiff City manager believes the context of other clubs failing to take advantage means it was a point gained rather than two lost as they seek to consolidate their position in the Championship play-offs.

The Bluebirds stay in sixth place, but the gap above them to Nottingham Forest could stretch to six points if Forest beat Bristol City at home this evening.

“Millwall and Swansea drew, Blackburn were beaten and so we have to be pleased with a clean sheet and a point,” said Harris, whose team remain four points clear of Preston, Swansea City and Derby County.

“We dominated the ball and put good moments together, but we could not find the game-changing moments we needed. This could, though, be a valuable point.”

Centre-forward Robert Glatzel went off with a head injury which needed stitches during the first half with Callum Paterson taking over, but Harris will wait until Wednesday morning to check on his condition.

“I don’t want to say too much because I don’t know all the facts,” said Harris.

The Bluebirds manager confirmed that winger Albert Adomah is returning to his parent club Forest after Cardiff failed to get his loan spell extended.

Harris had been critical of the EFL for not stretching the loan to cover the remaining fixtures this season but said there was never any doubt that Adomah would be picked for his final appearance.

Embed from Getty Images

“Nothing has changed and that is why I left him out there,” he added.

“I felt there might be a moment of magic to create something in a Cardiff City shirt. He has been pretty immense for us.

“I’m pleased he can’t play for Forest because he is a super player. It’s not a fair situation for Albert because he goes back to kick his heels.

“Would we have let Albert stay if the situation. Was reversed? I think we would – and the club directors have confirmed that.

“He has handled the situation with huge professionalism. He wanted to stay, but he goes back as a Forest player.”

Harris was full of praise for centre-back Curtis Nelson as the Bluebirds kept a clean sheet. They have now conceded just one goal in their three matches since the season re-started and remain unbeaten with seven points from a possible nine.

“Nelson was wholehearted and aggressive at centre-back,” said Harris. “Our central defenders leave nothing on then pitch. I am still demanding more from them and they are getting better all the time.

“Sean Morrison was man of the match against Preston and Nelson was every bit as good tonight. They have a clean sheet mentality about them which is something I admire.

Embed from Getty Images

“Seven points in three games is a fantastic return, but we want more and Saturday is the start of that.”

Curacao international Leandro Bacuna played alongside Marlon Pack and Joe Ralls in central midfield against Charlton and was an influential figure before making way for Lee Tomlin.

Cardiff were forced into a change just before half-time when Glatzel went off with a bad cut to his face after a clash of heads.

Charlton also had to send on a substitute after the same incident with ex-Swansea midfield player Darren Pratley replacing Sam Field.

Both Cardiff and Charlton went into the clash having won their opening two fixtures since the break, but there were few chances during the opening 45 minutes.

The teams returned to the dressing rooms after a tense first half with neither goalkeeper having been really tested.

City needed to push on and break the deadlock, while an organised Charlton team worked to keep things tight.

Embed from Getty Images

Nathanial Mendez-Laing and Joe Bennett linked up down the left for City, while Dion Sanderson and  Adomah paired up on the right.

Cardiff changed their shape slightly by sending on Tomlin and Junior Hoilett for Bacuna and Mendez-Laing after 65 minutes.

The home team had the majority of possession at 56 per cent, but they were unable to find a way of breaking down Charlton’s defensive system.

Nelson was outstanding at centre-back alongside captain Morrison and left-back Joe Bennett did well, but City had to settle for a point.

Charlton were clearly happy with an away point and did all they could to close things down during the late stages.

Harris sent on Will Vaulks for Ralls with five minutes left to try and end the deadlock, but the Addicks held on to a point that is valuable in their fight against the drop.

Both teams have taken seven points from three matches since the restart, while Charlton have kept three successive clean sheets.


Leave a Reply

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