Neil Harris has ordered his Cardiff City side to be more ruthless as they bid to undermine West Bromwich Albion’s promotion bid tonight – and ignite their own.
The Bluebirds host the Baggies, with Harris insisting his team must make more of their opportunities than they did in their 1-1 draw at Reading last weekend in the FA Cup.
West Brom find themselves in the peculiar position of being top of the Championship, but are without a win in their last six league games.
But for Cardiff to add to that sequence, Harris has urged his team to improve on just five league goals in their last six games and said: “You have to be very organised to play against West Brom and have to be very disciplined in what you do.
“And when you get the chances you have to be ruthless. When those opportunities arrive we have to be more efficient, certainly than we were against Reading.”
Earlier this season, as manager of Millwall, Harris guided the Lions to a 2-1 League Cup victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns, having secured a 1-1 draw against the Championship leaders at the New Den.
He added: “Hopefully that is a good omen coming into this one. But every fixture is different, with obviously a different set of players.
Cardiff are back in 13th position in the table, 14 points behind West Brom and seven behind sixth-placed Preston.
Harris is yet to make a signing in the January transfer window, but insists it is not for want of trying, with Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham the latest in a long line of players who have been linked with a potential loan move.
For West Brom manager Slaven Bilic the visit to Cardiff represents a chance for his team to rediscover their form, following their impressive 1-0 FA Cup win at his former club West Ham at the weekend.
Bilic admitted: “We are top of the table, but we haven’t had the greatest run recently.
“I said to the players the Cup win will help us get back that little bit. The players are only human and they need a great performance like that. We didn’t ever lose confidence but this will help us get an extra bit back.”
Conor Townsend’s first Baggies goal was enough to topple the Hammers on Saturday – with Bilic tasting victory against the club that sacked him in November 2017.