By Gareth James
Cardiff City will use their winter World Cup break as a chance to improve, says manager Mark Hudson whose team are back in relegation trouble.
Hudson watched the Bluebirds slip to a 1-0 defeat that sent Sheffield United to the top of the Championship and leaves Cardiff just a point above the drop zone with close to half the season already gone.
It was back-to-back defeats for Hudson whose team have lost three of their last four games.
They do, however, have a four-week gap to their next match – away to Stoke City on December 10 – giving Hudson an opportunity to take stock.
“We have a break now and a chance to assess and improve,” said Hudson.
“We created plenty of opportunities and played some good football, but we definitely weren’t clinical enough in these important moments.
“In the first half we were as dominant as we could be, but we didn’t score and Sheffield punished us early in the second half.
“It’s a jubilant away end on the far side!”
George Baldock’s winner at the Cardiff City Stadium today! 🇬🇷😍 pic.twitter.com/njWU40a8Lc
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) November 12, 2022
“We just couldn’t find that finishing touch. It is disappointing, but we are creating chances, which is often very difficult.
“The break does give us an opportunity to look back at the start of the season, there are definitely positives heading forward.”
A 64th-minute goal from George Baldock was enough to secure all three points for the visitors.
Cardiff dominated much of the first half after a ponderous first 20 minutes, with the Bluebirds’ front three causing plenty of issues on the counter-attack.
The home side had plenty of chances, but failed to capitalise on several chances as the half wore on.
The introduction of James McAtee at half-time helped the Blades take control, although the visitors spurned several golden opportunities to take the lead before Baldock shot powerfully past the helpless Ryan Allsop.
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom said: “There was a lack of quality early on in the game, at half-time we knew the game was still there for anyone to win it.
A good Cardiff City man..but its hard to see where we are going as a Team, stop the supply to Robinson and we don’t seem to have an alternative, desperate for a game changer
— Huw Kear (@Kear50) November 12, 2022
“We wanted the players to come out strongly in the second half and I think we started the half really well.
“For us to be where we are at this point is fantastic. I think we are only going to get better from this point on.
“We are in a good position, we have picked up points in difficult games, but we need to continue to improve as a team and hopefully we can capitalise when the league restarts.”