Sabri Lamouchi, Manager of Cardiff City

Sabri Lamouchi, Manager of Cardiff City. Pic: Getty Images.

Sabri Lamouchi Tells Cardiff City: The Party’s Short . . . We Need To Beat Reading On Friday

By Grareth James

Sabri Lamouchi has praised Cardiff City’s fighting spirit after they gave him his first victory as manager and ended a 14-game winless run.

Superb late strikes from Perry Ng and Callum Robinson earned Cardiff a 2-0 win at Birmingham City – a first under new boss Lamouchi in his fourth match in charge.

The victory lifted the Bluebirds three points clear of the Championship relegation zone, but the clubs below them all have two games in hand.

Both sides defended stubbornly, meaning the game lacked many clear-cut opportunities.

Ng stole the show with a superb free-kick in the 84th minute and Robinson then sealed a first win since November for the Bluebirds as he drove into the box before firing a shot into the top-right corner.

A delighted Lamouchi said: “I liked the fighting spirit. I liked the mentality today. And what a goal from Ng!

“I said to them that we needed a goal. We needed a victory, to give us a lift and give us energy. I’m happy for them and I’m happy for that.

“Because they didn’t deserve to be in this situation. They lost confidence and what we are doing in training, with the quality, I have a good squad.

“Like I said before, we just need to play with more confidence, it’s not easy. But I know it’s not easy, when the last victory was in mid-November. They deserve to enjoy it with the fans and to be happy in the dressing room.

“But tomorrow, we need to think about Reading and Friday night at home with our fans. I’m really happy with that.

“West Brom suffered a lot here three days ago. They respected the plan. It was an absolutely fantastic performance from all of them.”

Birmingham manager John Eustace said: “I don’t think we deserved to lose the game.

“It was a very scrappy game, a typical Championship game really, and I think both teams cancelled each other out.

“We won a lot of first contacts, second ball in midfield and again I thought we cancelled each other out. We weren’t great going forward, we never looked a threat.

“Obviously, the manner in which we lost the game from was from a fantastic free-kick and that was the difference between the two teams.”

Having recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since October, it was expected Birmingham would start strongly, and they did as Scott Hogan looked very lively in the opening 10 minutes.

The first chance of the evening fell to Auston Trusty in the 15th minute when Juninho Bacuna curled a teasing cross into the box, but Trusty’s header went well wide of the target.

Goalkeeper John Ruddy was almost called into action three minutes later when Andy Rinomhota’s deflected cross found Sory Kaba on the edge of the area, but his audacious attempt at an overhead kick sailed wide.

As the first half progressed, the quality of football dropped as both teams resorted to hoofing the ball every time they had possession.

Cardiff had the last chance of the half in the 40th minute when Ryan Wintle collected a loose ball on the edge of the area but his shot was well blocked by Hannibal Mejbri.

The second half replicated the first in regard to the quality of football on display and it took until the 62nd minute for either side to record a noteworthy effort.

Kaba again proved to be the brightest spark for the Welsh side as he cleverly took down a powerful cross from Romaine Sawyers, before sending a bicycle kick over the bar. The deadlock was broken six minutes from time when Ng curled a sensational free-kick into the top-left corner.

Then, 11 minutes later, Robinson gave the 845 travelling Cardiff fans something else to cheer about as he cut in from the left wing before smashing a shot past Ruddy.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.