Q&A With Cardiff City

  • April 27, 2013 | By Emma Norris
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/246b7

Ahead of the 71st meeting between Bolton and Cardiff City, we have got the views of a Bluebirds supporter.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have spoken with 18-year-old Cardiff supporter Jon Wilson, a college student from Welsh capital. After attending his first game against Ipswich back in March 2005 and having seen the Bluebirds come close to promotion last year, Jon explained how he had every belief in the team prior to the start of the campaign and how he expects to see Malky Mackay's side finish with a bang when they welcome the Whites to South Wales on Saturday afternoon.

Q: Firstly, congratulations on being Premier League bound! It's certainly been a campaign to remember for Cardiff City. What were the fans' expectations prior to the start of the season after finishing in the play-offs last year?

A: Cheers! It has taken us a while but we're finally there. Since our owner, Vincent Tan, controversially rebranded us last summer he stated that he would back us financially when it came to our transfer budget, and he has proved that as we spent around £10m last summer. So my expectations were very high, and we couldn't have achieved any more this season.

Personally I don't believe it was worth throwing away our identity and traditions for huge investment and potential Premier League football (which we've now achieved), and a lot of our fans have actually boycotted the club. I'll always stick by my club through thick and thin, football is a huge part of my life and I'm not going to let some foreign owner take my club away from me.

Q: What are you expecting from your side when you grace the top flight come August?

A: From looking on Twitter, I've noticed a lot of fans in the Premier League are already writing us off. We haven't taken the Championship by storm but I believe we will be strong enough to survive as we've got the financial backing we need and a great manager who knows what he's doing. Of course we'll be one of the favourites for relegation just like every other club who gets promoted from the Championship, but finishing anywhere above the relegation spots next season would be fantastic.

Q: You secured the league title with a point against Burnley last weekend, but it has definitely been on the cards for a while. When would you say you realised that you had it all but sewn up?

A: Yeah, we've been top of the table for the majority of the season so it was inevitable that we would go on to win the league, despite being told by a lot of fans that we would 'bottle' it once again, but we've proved the critics wrong. I started to believe that it was all but done when we beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0 at the beginning of April. The buzz around the stadium definitely started to kick in and from there on the confidence was sky high.

Q: We've certainly got promotion aspirations of our own and are in desperate need of a result against the Bluebirds this weekend to maintain our chances of securing a top six finish - do you think Cardiff will finish on a high or perhaps slacken off slightly now the hard work is done?

A: I've been surprised by Bolton this season. I was expecting them to be challenging for automatic promotion, but they're now showing that they're not out of the picture and they'll be right up for the game on Saturday.

Now that we've gained promotion and won the Championship, I'm hoping we'll give a few players who don't get much first team football a run out as we have nothing to play for. Although it would be nice to end the season on a high, especially as it's our last home game. I think Malky will want to win for the fans as we lift the Championship trophy after the final whistle.

Q: Like ourselves, you've had a pretty formidable home record this season with just two league defeats. What is it do you think that makes the Cardiff City Stadium such a tough place to visit?

A: The different thing about us this season is that we're very consistent, even if we haven't looked like a brilliant side. If we lose a game, we'll bounce back straight away. Our home form has been brilliant and it's all down to the hard work the players put in. They never stop until the final whistle and that has shown from the amount of late goals we've scored at home this season.

Crystal Palace manager, Ian Holloway, likes to have a dig at the Cardiff fans in his interviews, mentioning once that we have an advantage at home by having a go at the referee and influencing decisions, but to me that's just Holloway talking nonsense.

Q: Albeit a relatively inexperienced manager, Malky Mackay has worked wonders since his arrival including taking you to the League Cup Final. What is the opinion of the gaffer on the terraces?

A: Malky Mackay has been brilliant. When he first arrived here last season, he had a massive rebuilding job to do as we lost a lot of players, but he still managed to get us into the League Cup final against Liverpool and, despite losing, it was a day the fans will never forget. He also got us into the play-offs on the last day, which was a huge achievement for us considering we were predicted to finish mid-table by critics and fans.

Malky became popular with the fans as soon as he arrived. 'Malky's barmy army' rings around the stadium during every game and he always acknowledges the fans for our passion and support. The fans picked up quite quickly that he punches the air every time we win or get a decent result. 'Let's all do the Malky' has now become a regular thing for us. You will notice this if you're travelling down here on Saturday.

As our previous manager, Dave Jones, was probably the most boring man in the world, it has been great to have such a passionate manager in charge for a change. So sum it up, we love Malky.

Q: With Hull looking likely to join you in the Premier League next season, who do you expect to be coming up via the play-offs?

A: It's a very hard one to call, although saying that, the play-offs have always been a lottery. Blackpool somehow managed to get into the play-offs on the last day of the season in 2010 and then beat us in the final, so even the most unpredicatable can happen.

Judging by the teams who have visisted the Cardiff City Stadium this season, I would say that Brighton were by far the strongest. They completely played us off the park and you would never have thought we were top of the table. So I'm going with the Seagulls!

Q: Based on what you've seen of us during the campaign, which Bolton player do you think will be your biggest threat?

A: Honestly, I haven't taken much notice of Bolton this season! I don't know how often he plays, but the one player that stands out for me is Darren Pratley as he is a former Swansea City player. He doesn't go down well with our fans, especially because of his 'swim away' goal celebration in a South Wales derby, relating to Cardiff/Swansea hooliganism. So if Pratley plays on Saturday, get ready for some loud anti-Swansea/Pratley chants.

I've also heard that Chris Eagles has been linked with us since we've been promoted, so I'm going to keep an eye on him.

Q: Who would you say is the Cardiff player that we need to keep an eye on this weekend?

A: We definitely haven't got a stand out player. In recent seasons, Peter Whittingham has been known as our 'best player' but, with the amount of quality Malky has added to the squad this season, Whitts hasn't stood out at all and has been dropped recently because of his poor form.

Our South Korean, Kim Bo-Kyung, or 'Kimbo' as we like to call him, has taken Whittingham's place and has been playing brilliantly recently, so he is definitely the player you should be keeping an eye on. There's just something about him that you just know he's going to be a future star.

Q: We won 2-1 when the sides met back at Reebok back in October for Dougie Freedman's first game as Bolton boss, but what is your score prediction ahead of Saturday's game?

A: I think we will win 2-1. Although Bolton be right up for it considering you're fighting for a play off spot, there will be no pressure on us and I think we will be quite frustrating for you. Should be a good game though whatever happens!

Burnden Aces would like to thank Jon for taking the time to answer our questions.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
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