Cardiff City are undoubtedly lacking cover when it comes to their defensive line with only five frontline and experienced defenders available to Malky Mackay. Luckily for he and us, those five are very very good Championship defenders and have been crucial to our encouraging start. It does remain a worry as to our options if injury hits with the untried Ben Nugent used as bench cover recently.
New signing Matthew Connelly was initially used as bench cover, but was called upon with Ben Turner forced to miss a month`s action with a foot injury. After returning to contention, Turner was forced to sit it out on the bench, until Tuesday night when he won a recall – this time at the expense of long-serving full-back Kevin McNaughton.
Tuesday`s game proved the Matthew Connelly is more than able to operate as a right-back. His versatility, and that of former Aberdeen defender McNaughton gives us a range of options to keep players fresh with both men able to play right across the back four – leaving no man sure of his place from week-to-week.
As we saw, without McNaughton, a defensive unit of Connolly-Hudson-Turner-Taylor looked pretty good, especially as this was their first time playing together.
If Taylor was dropped/injured, a back four of Connolly-Hudson-Turner-McNaughton would start and surely do well.
If both specialist full-backs start, then Mackay can choose from Turner, Hudson and Connolly– leaving one man on the Bluebirds bench.
It`s a tough decision, and one that will depend on circumstances. McNaughton was unlucky to be left out, but with such an attacking line-up and the lack of cover from midfield – there`s little doubt that the extra solidity provided by Connolly was influential.
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