By Paul Jones
Steve Morison has questioned the desire of Cardiff City players after they suffered a fourth straight defeat.
The Bluebirds manager suggested some in his squad lack motivation as they suffered their 23rd defeat of the Championship season with a 2-0 loss at Middlesbrough.
Only two of the teams in the relegation places have lost more games than Cardiff this season and if it were not for the points deductions suffered by Derby County and Reading, Cardiff’s home clash against Birmingham City this Saturday would be a likely relegation decider.
As it is, Cardiff are safe and Morison is planning a major clear-out in the summer with as many as 15 players out of contract.
But they are heading for their lowest level league placing since 2003, unless they can improve on 19th place with two games remaining.
“I’m trying to pick a team that is filled with people that are going to be here next year and that are in the best form,” said Morison.
In April with “nothing to play for” we’ve saw some miles!
Hull good Friday- 510 mile round trip
Sheffield United- 388 miles round trip
Middlesbrough- 572 miles round trip!
— Jamie Anderson🐦🏴 (@JamieAnderson93) April 28, 2022
“Motivation has to come from within; the staff and I can only do so much. When you step over the white line, you have to have that inner burning desire and belief to win, to be the best version of yourself you can and we’ll keep asking them to do that every day and hope we get a result in the last two games.
“We were the masters of our own downfall, I think. In two-thirds of the pitch, I thought we were really good, but we just didn’t have anything in the final third.
“And then we turned the ball over a couple of times and they punished us. In transitions, they were better than us and the chances we did get, we didn’t take.
“The question I asked them in there is; ‘Does it hurt enough to lose?’ But you always have to take yourself away and look at the bigger picture.
“I am picking teams, the best team I think I can pick. I’ve got no-one else to come into this group. That is my 18 players.
“We only came with 18 players because we’ve got no one else to bring and we will do the best we can with that group and try to pick a way to get the best out of those players.
Middlesbrough – who had lost four home games on the spin in all competitions – kept themselves in the play-off hunt thanks to goals from Marcus Tavernier and Riley McGree.
“I’ve got question marks over whether he’s the right man” 🤔
Cardiff fans are split on whether Steve Morison should be in charge of the club.
— The Second Tier (@secondtierpod) April 25, 2022
In spite of a performance that lacked intensity at times, Chris Wilder’s men move back up to seventh as a result, two points behind Sheffield United with two games remaining. Cardiff stay down in 19th.
Boro manager Chris Wilder said: “We got the job done. We had to – it was a big night for us.
“They are quite a dangerous opponent; they changed their shape and it opened the game up quite a lot.
“They had a little bit more possession, so we had to make sure we dealt with one ball and I felt we dealt with that.
“I thought Sol (Bamba), the old man, was outstanding. As soon as we got our noses in front, there was a little bit more belief flowing through our veins and we were a little bit better.
“We’ll take 2-0. You come to the back end of the season and we go to the 45th game and we’re still in the board game, so I’m delighted with that.”