Cardiff City have been on an impressive run of late, yet have not been scoring goals for fun. Instead the recent success has been built on all areas of the squad performing their duties effectively and outplaying sides at home and away.
The bed-rock of our performance of late has been the defensive solidity given by the outstanding Roger Johnson and Gabor Gyepes, with the dependable Mark Kennedy and ever-impressive and consistent Kevin McNaughton. Behind them, ‘keeper Peter Enckelman is looking as good as I’ve ever seen him. In midfield, the Ledley/Rae combo is proving hugely effective while the likes of Parry, Burke, McCormack and Bothroyd are keeping opposition midfielders occupied all over the park.
The impressive form and confidence throughout the team has seen us go 270 minutes without conceding a goal – even more impressive given that 90 of those were played against Arsenal (Van Persie/Adebayor/Bentner/Nasri all featured). Whilst looking at goals conceded, you could see we’ve only conceded once in 540 minutes – that a last minute goal for Lee Bowyer of Birmingham City following a foul on Johnson and mis-placed header by McPhail. Both the last two goals against us have come deep into stoppage time (Reading & Birmingham) so you have to go back to November for the last goal conceded in normal time – Jon Stead’s header for Ipswich Town. We now have a testing period coming up, with injuries hanging over Gyepes, McNaughton and Johnson – the next few weeks will be crucial.