Defender Ben Turner has vehemently backed manager Russell Slade to be a success next season and accused some of those who have departed the club under his tenure of not caring about Cardiff and not being good enough or caring enough to put the right effort in.
Speaking to Wales Online Turner said that he more than accepted all season long the club had not been good enough on the pitch, but he was convinced that Slade would have a fully committed group of players behind him next season.
‘Certain players were here and I don`t mind asking whether they cared about our club like the ones here at the moment do. Who knows? But now we’ve got lads who care about the club, care about each other and want to do well for the manager.’
Talking more generally about the season as a whole, Turner also went on to say that he felt Slade was definitely the man to guide us back to the Premier League in 2015-16.
‘First and foremost he is a highly professional guy, an extremely good manager. He deserved his chance to manage in our division more than any other manager in the Championship. He has paid his dues, more than 700 games as a manager. He has big enough shoulders to take criticism, but I don`t really understand at times where that comes from. You can criticise a performance or a certain run of results, but I simply don`t understand some of the stuff generally saying the whole thing isn`t right having Russell as our manager.’
Adding that for him our away form has been ‘fantastic’ and in his opinion the club certainly hasn’t gone ‘backwards’ since he came in as manager.
‘Russell has given us a platform for next season. That is the time to judge him and I hope everybody gets behind him.’
Turner went on to say that in many ways the criticism the gaffer has taken, and in doing so his defence of the team, has spurred people on to unite more, fight for each other and he feels it has helped the group gel as a unit because they wanted to show they were behind the gaffer.
‘It`s certainly fired me up. Ask any of the players and every one of us want to play for him and help Cardiff City progress. You don`t go on the away run we finished the season with if everybody isn`t playing for the manager. It`s been frustrating for me because when you are out injured there is a need to be patient. Because I`ve been out since January I get to see him personally day in, day out and watch closely what he is trying to do. Sometimes it seems he is being criticised for the sake of it. We can win six away games, lose one at home and it`s panic stations. There is a lot of work to be done, everybody in our dressing room knows that. We haven`t been good enough this season.’
Having admitted the season wasn’t good enough, Turner went on to say that we definitely had to rebalance our home form though because he knows the frustrations of the fans have built over the season and that leads to the ‘panic stations’ comments, so if we can add six or seven more home wins to 2015-16 then we should definitely have a better overall atmosphere around the club and be pushing for the play offs, if not automatic promotion.
‘We believe that target is well within our reach. That really is possible. Our away form has been great during the closing stages of this season and we need to put that next to consistent home form. Look at the tiny margins between every single position. Another five wins and a draw would have put us in the play-offs this season. There is no doubt in my mind that promotion is do-able. That`s not me saying we are going to do it because that`s not how football works, but we will be in there with as much chance as anybody else next season. There was a lot of upheaval this season. More stability is needed. Everybody must be pulling in the same direction.’
He ended the interview by admitting that key to those hopes is having everybody together, because that’s how it was last time we got promoted – everybody associated with the club were on the same page and ‘home games were rocking’ and we ground out away wins, but given the season we’ve had he feels that has already clicked with the team and next year they will prove it and then hopefully everything else will fall into place.
‘If we haven’t got that togetherness we don`t have a chance. If we do have that there is every chance for Cardiff City. If we could get that group sitting together in the same block at home games (from the City Ground) singing their heads off it would make a huge difference. At home I understand it`s a chance to voice concerns for your club and voice what you want to happen. Away matches are more like a mini holiday for fans who want to party and create a great atmosphere. If we could transfer that sheer passion and support to home games as well it would make a massive difference. Why shouldn`t that happen? We have finished in the top half of the table after an absolutely disastrous season when you consider some of the things that have gone on with changes and a wage bill that was ridiculous. There is no secret about that.’
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