Vital Cardiff City reviews the season on a player by player basis. Today it’s the turn of midfielder Paul Parry…
Paul Parry was not expected to play a major part for the Bluebirds this season with Ledley expected to take the left midfield position with Whittingham and new recruit Trevor Sinclair vying for the right winger berth. He made several appearances from the substitutes bench but did well when starting against QPR and scored two goals.
Parry was largely omitted from matchday squad in October and November, but The Hasselbaink & Fowler partnership up-front was not paying dividends for City, Steve Thompson also had a chance to shine but it was his sending off and 3 match ban that prompted a season-defining change from Dave Jones. Parry was moved up-field to a forward position against Sheffield United and scored the winner in a 1-0 victory.
An 8 game unbeaten run followed and we played much improved football. Parry`s pace and intelligent running caused problems and created space for other players to exploit. It was what we had been missing and Parry provided, establishing a useful understanding with Hasselbaink. Two outstanding goals against (then) table-topping West Brom proved the move to be a success and Parry led the scoring charts.
Unfortunately the Welshman picked up a hamstring injury, missing the season run-in, including the FA Cup semi-final win. He did return for the final and caused early problems for Porstmouth but his fitness was lacking and it was a big ask on a huge Wembley pitch.
Parry ended the season with 10 league goals, joint top scorer and impressive after missing the start and end to the season as well as being played in an unfamiliar role! He won recall to John Toshack`s Wales squad after making himself available again but pulled out of the latest squad for personal reasons. He seems likely to sign a new contract shortly and will be used primarily in a midfield role next season with City strengthening the striker options.
Season rating: 7.5