With My Little Pick and Shovel - A Cardiff City Story

TheLuckDuck

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RUSSELL SLADE LEAVES BLUEBIRDS
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Cardiff City manager Russell Slade has left the role with immediate effect, leaving the Bluebirds manager-less just a month before they kick off their Championship campaign.

The 54-year-old Englishman is yet to give reasons for his resignation but it is believed that a clash of ideologies, ideas and cultures between the Bracknell born manager and Cardiff City's billionaire Malaysian owner, Vincent Tan.
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The ex-Letyton Orient manager has left the Bluebirds only 268 days after replacing the ill-fated Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the Championship club.

This is not the first time a manager has left Cardiff following problems with the owner.

Championship-winning manager, Malky Mackay, was sacked by the Bluebirds in December 2013 following the emergence of racist text messages exchanged between him and Head of Recruitment, Iain Moody.
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Who next? We aren't sure but one thing is for certain, there is never a dull moment at Cardiff City

More to follow
 

TheLuckDuck

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VINCENT TAN BREAKS SILENCE
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Following a turbulent week at the Cardiff City Stadium, owner Vincent Tan has broken his silence and has revealed all about Slade's tenure, the next manager and his plan for the future

In a statement released by the club's website at 10 o'clock this morning, Vincent Tan revealed the working difficulties between him and former Cardiff City boss, Russell Slade

"Working with Russell was difficult, the 2 of us are from contrasting cultures and backgrounds, for example every time I suggested a place to eat he would say "Vincent, I can't go to a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, we have a game tomorrow", what a frustrating man!"

"Our differences stretched beyond culinary preference, for example, I suggested that, as a way of raising funds, we should steal a nuclear warhead and hold the world to ransom, like I saw in a documentary named Austin Powers"
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"He seemed hurt when I said that he was the perfect man for the job due to his resemblance to criminal mastermind, Dr Evil, I knew from that moment that Mr Slade was not right for this club"
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The Malaysian businessman also announced the name of the new manager of Cardiff City, although we are unsure whether or not he was being serious

"Many Cardiff City fans referred to Mr Slade as a PE teacher during his time at the club, which I believe is a sign of great respect from the fanbase which is why I have given the job of manager of Cardiff City Redbirds to former Welsh teacher, Mr Matthew Hawkins"

"I believe Mr Hawkins will guide this club to great success in the IPL next season and greatly look forward to many succesfull Super Bowls under his stewardship"

As ever, there will be more to follow
 

TheLuckDuck

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CITY REVEAL THEIR MAN!
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After a few days of speculation, Cardiff City have held a press conference showcasing their new manager, 24-year-old Welshman Matthew Hawkins, to the world.

The 24-year-old ex-semi pro footballer answered questions from the British media which ranged from his suitability to potential transfers, below is a transcript of the press conference.

R-"You are now manager of Cardiff City FC, as a supporter of the club, this must be a surreal moment"
MH-"You're right, I still cant believe it, I have dreamt of this moment for years"

R-"You have been asked to achieve a top half finish, do you feel this is attainable?"
MH-"Absolutely, we have a strong squad here and I think we can quite easily finish in the top half"

R-"You have little reputation and yet are manager of a sizeable club in Cardiff City, can a small time manager run a club the size of Cardiff"
MH-"I feel that I have the skills to manage this club to success and that my connection to the club will drive me to take this club to the top"

R-"You were raised only half an hours walk from the stadium, do you think this will aid your connection to supporters?"
MH-"I feel that being a Cardiff boy and fan will aid me as it gives me a connection to the fanbase and being a fan myself, I know what the fans want, so in keeping with this I will attempt to build a young, exciting team, with a core of Welsh players"

More to follow...

Transfer Budget-£1,000,000
Wage Budget-£0
Predicted Finish-7th
Promotion Odds-20/1
 

TheLuckDuck

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A LOOK AT THE TEAM

To be fair, Cardiff have a pretty decent squad with depth in each position, the problem is, some of them think they're too good, and want to leave

SQUAD REPORT
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GOALKEEPERS
David Marshall-The Scottish international is more than good enough for the Championship and, at 30 years old, is hitting his prime as a goalkeeper, he is also club captain, but unfortunately wants to leave
Simon Moore-A decent backup, won't get many first team minutes this season

DEFENDERS
Fabio-The Brazilian full-back is our best on both sides, so, naturally, he wants to leave
Scott Malone-Our starting left-back, decent potential, English and only 24, could do worse
Sean Morrison-Will start at the back alongside Gabonese centre-half Manga, more of a limited defender than his counterpart, will put his body on the line, English
Bruno Ecuele Manga-Manga is a man in demand! He is wanted by Celta Vigo in Spain and will command a hefty fee if we do sell him
Lee Peltier-A decent backup at right-back, will be good cover when called upon
Matthew Connolly-Can play anywhere across the back, great utility player, will be important if injuries inflict themselves upon us

MIDFIELDERS
Peter Whittingham-Club legend and still one of the better players, his set piee abilities will be invaluable this season as we push for the top half
Joe Ralls-Been at Cardiff for 6 years now and surely qualifies as an honourary Welshman? A tenacious midfielder with a wonderful left foot, great player
Aron Gunnarsson-An Icelandic, right footed version of Joe Ralls, good backup and competition for the starting spot
Anthony Pilkington-The Irish international is our strongest winger and is a good player for this level
Craig Noone-Like Pilks, can play on both sides and is good on both, look forward to using him
Tom Lawrence-The Welsh attacking midfielder is a great playmaker and is another good player for this level, hope to make his loan permanent next summer
Lex Immers-Will be competing with Tom Lawrence for the No.10 spot, more of a goal based player than Lawrence, hopefully he'll bag a few this season

ATTACKERS
Federicho Macheda-Sell, sell, sell
Kenneth Zohore-On loan from Belgian side Kortijk, decent backup for this level
Idriss Saadi-A pacey, French forward, will be starting striker unless we go in for someone else in the window

A decent squad, we need strikers

TRANSFER TARGETS

Mikkel Duelund - Winger - FC Midtjylland
Sam Vokes - Striker - Burnley
Chris Gunter - Full Back - Reading
Hal Robson-Kanu - Striker - Reading
Tom Bradshaw - Striker -Walsall
 

TheLuckDuck

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CITY SIGN TWO
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Cardiff City have today announced the signings of Mikkel Duelund and Sam Vokes for a combined fee believed to be around £3.1 million

Danis winger Duelund is believe to have cost the Welsh club £600,000, with half of this to be paid over the next 4 years, meaning City paid Danish champions FC Midtjylland, only £300,000 for the 18-year-old's services

The youngster, believed to be the next "Great Dane" was linked with clubs such as Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool, but the youngster chose Cardiff saying the Welsh club have a "clear vision" and saying it's a vision he "wants to be a part of"

It is believe Duelund will be used as competition for Pilkington and Noone, following the termination of Samme Ameobi's loan deal

The pricier of the two, Welsh international Sam Vokes, has joined from Championship rivals Burnley for a fee of £2.5m

The striker has joined Cardiff on a 4 year deal believed to be worth £12,000 per week, a value that many Cardiff fans are calling a bargain due to the quality of the player

The Bluebirds have also seen 2 players leave with defensive midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi joining Sheffield Wednesday for £1.3m and injury hit defender Fabio joining Udinese for £1m
 

TheLuckDuck

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AUGUST
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Month one. How will it go?

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 0-0 Fulham

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Moore, Fabio, Morrison, Manga, Malone, Ralls (O'Keefe 64), Whittingham, Pilkington (Lawrence 45), Immers, Noone, Vokes (Saadi 64)
A bore draw in my first game as manager, not many chances created but a solid defensive performance and a clean sheet for young goalkeeper Simon Moore, who started due to Marshall's suspension

LEAGUE CUP 1ST ROUND
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Cardiff City 2-0 Crawley Town

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Marshall, Peltier, Manga, Morrison, Malone, Ralls (Gunnarsson 71), Whittingham, Pilkington, Immers (Lawrence 71), Noone, Vokes (Saadi 71)
A comfortable victory over League 1 Crawley, Noone scoring a tap in and Sam Vokes bagging his first goal for the club

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Queens Park Rangers 2-2 Cardiff City

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Moore, Peltier, Manga, Morrison, Malone, Ralls, Whittingham, Pilkington, Immers, Noone, Vokes
Sam Vokes' man of the match performance wasn't enough to overcome QPR today, we took the lead from a great Vokes header before relinquishing it 5 minutes later, we then took the lead 1 minute before half time before conceding almost immediately. Frustrating.

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Cardiff City

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Moore, Peltier, Manga, Morrison, Malone, Ralls, Whittingham, Pilkington (Duelund 80), Immers (Lawrence 80), Noone, Vokes (Saadi 80)
Elliott Bennett gave Blackburn an early lead but we pegged them back well with a thunderous long shot from Joe Ralls, his first league goal for the club he has served for 6 years, Danny Graham grabbed a winner with a header 6 minutes into the second half

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

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Marshall, Peltier, Manga, Morrison (Turner 62), Malone, Ralls (Gunnarsson 76), Whittingham, Duelund (Pilkington 62), Immers, Noone, Vokes
Lex Immers gave us a deserved lead 11 minutes into the game and it looked like we were well in control until former Bluebird Joe Mason equalised, the game looked to be fizzling out into a draw until a man who is quickly becoming a fan favourite (ex Wolves striker Sam Vokes) broke Wolves' hearts with a winner 3 minutes from time

LEAGUE CUP 2ND ROUND
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Reading 0-1 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Peltier, Manga, Morrison, Malone, Ralls (Gunnarsson 69), Whittingham, Pilkington (Duelund 69), Immers, Noone, Vokes
He's done it again! Sam Vokes' 22 yard screamer two minutes in to the first half settled a fairly boring cup tie, we progress to the Third Round where we will play... Bradford City

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Nottingham Forest 4-1 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Peltier, Manga (Turner 70), Morrison, Malone, Ralls, Whittingham, Duelund, Immers, Noone, Vokes (Saadi 64)
Dreadful. Absolutely dreadful. Manga and Morrison put in performances so bad that Manga was hauled off for Ben Turner, Chris O'Grady tore us a new one, although the media felt that Whittingham and Ralls both had stormers, Ralls with another screamer to bring it back to 1-1 but we were blown out of the water

LEAGUE TABLE
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5 games in, 17th in the league, not the best start but we are still gelling
 

TheLuckDuck

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DEADLINE DAY AT CARDIFF
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The fax machines at Cardiff City have been very busy today processing all four transfers made by the club on Deadline Day

The Championship club have signed defender Ben Gibson from Middlesbrough for £5m (£1m up front, the rest in add-ons) and former Bluebird Chris Gunter from Reading for £2m (£500k up front)

They have also brought in Wales international Jonny "Joniesta" Williams on loan

22 year old centre-back Ben Gibson has been hailed as a potential future England international and has joined Cardiff City on a 4 year contract believed to be worth £17,250 per week

Newport-born Welsh international Chris Gunter has joined the club where he began his professional career back in 2005, before his £2m move to Tottenham in 2008, the Welshman has said that he is "glad to be back home" and hopes to "help take Cardiff to the Premier League"

These signings were offset by the departure of 27 year old Gabonese defender Bruno Ecuele Manga to Crystal Palace for £6m, the defender, believed to be on £25,000 per week jumped at the opportunity to play in the Premier League and Cardiff were forced to sell

Cardiff manager, Matthew Hawkins, had this to say:
"Obviously we're sad to see Bruno leave but we've re-invested the money into the side and brought in 2 top defenders and an extra midfielder, so I think it was a good sale for the club"
 
Nov 7, 2014
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Surprised that you haven't gotten any responses yet as it looks brilliant. One of my favorite saves I've ever played was with Cardiff on Fm14 so I'll be following this with high expectations!
 

TheLuckDuck

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SEPTEMBER
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Following a very pleasing transfer window, could we improve on August's form and keep the cup run going?

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 2-1 Huddersfield Town

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Whittingham, Ralls (Gunnarsson 87), Noone, Immers, Pilkington (Duelund 63), Vokes (Saadi 63)
A decent home performance was needed following the horror show at Forest and we gave one, Ben Gibson making an assured début and Chris Gunter making his 37th Cardiff City appearance 7 years after his 36th, Noone got us off to a flyer early on before Sam Vokes settled the game in the 33rd minute

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 0-0 Hull City

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Whittingham, Ralls (Gunnarsson 68), Noone, Immers (Lawrence 46), Pilkington, Vokes (Saadi 68)

A solid home draw against recently relegated Hull, they threatened our goal more often than we threatened theirs but we stood firm to deny them all 3 points

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Rotherham United 0-0 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison (Turner 75), Gibson, Malone, Whittingham (Ralls 71), Gunnarsson, Noone, Immers, Pilkington (Duelund 67), Vokes

A missed opportunity at the New York Stadium made it back-to-back 0-0s for us, we were promising and much the better side, going close on numerous occasions but unfortunately couldn't break Rotherham down, Lex Immers' red card sealed a miserable afternoon for the Bluebirds

LEAGUE CUP 3RD ROUND
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Bradford City 1-2 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Peltier, Morrsion, Turner, John (Malone 58), Ralls (Whittingham 76), Gunnarsson, Harris (Vokes 98), Lawrence, Duelund, Saadi

A weakened team were take to extra time by a determined Bradford City side in front 17,000 at Valley Parade, a fairly even match which saw us have 10 shots on target seemed to take a swing in our direction when Idriss Saadi gave us the lead with his first goal for the club, only for Billy Knott to equalise 2 minutes later, Sam Vokes was the hero as he scored the winner 17 minutes into extra time

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 2-1 Charlton Athletic

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Gunnarsson, Ralls, Noone (Duelund 58), Lawrence (Whittingham 74), Pilkington, Vokes

Another 2-1! Each of my league victories as City boss have been 2-1 to Cardiff and we continued the trencd here, Charlton's Rod Fanni gave them the lead in the 33rd minute, only for Sam Vokes to equalise 9 minutes later, Irish international, Anthony Pilkington, bagged us all 3 points 9 minutes into the second half with a volley

LEAGUE TABLE
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A decent month that sees rise to 13th in the table, not bad, slow progression is better than no progression, on a side note we drew Newcastle in the League Cup 4th Round
 

TheLuckDuck

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OCTOBER
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Could we build on a very promising September and push up the league table?

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Gunnarsson, Ralls, Noone, Lawrence (Williams 55), Pilkington (Duelund 82), Vokes (Saadi 55)

A confident performance away at Brighton saw us grab all 3 points, Scott Malone's mazy run into the Reading box put us in the lead and Sean Morrison's close range won it for us, on a side note Aron Gunnarsson achieved a 9.0 match rating

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Preston North End 1-2 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Gunnarsson (Williams 79), Ralls, Noone, Lawrence, Pilkington (Duelund 19), Vokes (Saadi 45)

Another good away performance that ended 2-1 to the Bluebirds! Sam Vokes gave us the lead early one before having to leave the field just before half time with a strained neck, his replacement, Idriss Saadi, doubled our lead, Sam Gallagher scored a consolation for the Lilywhites

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 1-2 Middlesbrough

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Gunnarsson (Williams 66), Ralls, Noone (Lawrence 66), Immers, Duelund, Saadi

Agent Gibson! Ex-Boro defender Ben Gibson gave his former side the lead 2 minutes in with a calamitous own goal, we rallied and equalised through Idriss Saadi early in the second half and dominated the game only for Boro to win it late on

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 3-1 Bristol City

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Ralls, Gunnarsson (Williams 60), Noone, Lawrence (Immers 60), Duelund, Vokes (Saadi 79)
A brilliant performance in front of 30,000 in my first Severnside derby as manager of Cardiff City, Vokes' first half double put the game to bed early on despite a fightback from Bristol, Craig Noone put the icing on the cake early in the second half

LEAGUE CUP 4TH ROUND
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Newcastle United 3-0 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Peltier, Connolly, Turner, Malone, Pilkington (Duelund 58), Ralls (Immers 72), Gunnarsson, Noone, Lawrence (Williams 58), Saadi
A poor performance against mid-table Newcastle who dominated us today, without Marshall it could have been 6 or 7, dreadful performance

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Ipswich Town 5-1 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Ralls, Gunnarsson (Williams 45), Noone, Lawrence (Immers 62), Pilkington (Duelund 62), Saadi

Even worse. Absolutely dismantled by Ipswich, we started well with a goal from Idriss Saadi but fell apart following Sean Morrison's own goal, there will be double training sessions as punishment

LEAGUE TABLE
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An ok month seeing us in 9th in the league, not bad, meeting the board's remit of top half
 

TheLuckDuck

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NOVEMBER
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Following a shaky October, could we improve our fortunes and rocket up the league?

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Leeds United 2-0 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Williams, Ralls, Noone, Immers, Duelund, Vokes (Saadi 45)

Awful, dreadful, terrible, one of the worst performances I've seen this season, even though Leeds played with 10 men for 30 minutes we couldn't score, awful

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 2-4 Reading

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Gunnarsson, Ralls (Williams 70), Noone, Immers, Pilkington, Vokes (Saadi 59)

Another poor performance, they took an early lead before being pegged back, unfortunately they scored two quickfire goals shortly after half-time to make it 3-1. Sam Vokes tried to spark a comeback, but it was soon quelled by another Reading goal

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Derby County 1-1 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Gunnarsson, Ralls, Noone, Immers, Pilkington, Saadi

We deservedly lead early on through an Anthony Pilkington goal, only for David Marshall to put the ball in his own net 14 minutes from time, we're not just getting any luck at the moment

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 0-3 Burnley

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Gunnarsson, Ralls, Noone, Immers, Pilkington, Vokes (Saadi 70)
I have no idea what's wrong with the team

LEAGUE TABLE
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A very poor month sees us slide down the league table, not good at all
 

TheLuckDuck

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HAWKINS GIVEN MONTH TO SAVE JOB


Cardiff City manager Matthew Hawkins has been given a month to save his job, BBC Sport Wales can reveal

The Welsh manager, 24, has been told results must improve or he will face the sack

Cardiff haven't won since October and this has lead to them spiralling down the league, despite this Hawkins has said he is confident in his ability to lead the club
 

TheLuckDuck

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DECEMBER
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We really have to improve on November's results to stand any chance of a top-half finish and for me to stand any chance of finishing the season

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Bolton Wanderers 3-0 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Gunter, Gibson, Morrison, Malone, Ralls, Gunnarsson (Williams 78), Noone, Immers, Pilkington, Saadi (Vokes 63)

Another poor performance, we really need to turn things around, we had a few chances but couldn't take them

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

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Marshall, Gunter, Morrison, Gibson, Malone, Gunnarsson, Williams, Ralls (Immers 72), Noone, Pilkington (Duelund 58), Saadi (Vokes 68)

i changed formation for this game against league leaders Wednesday, changing from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-1-2-2-1 with wingers, we played well but switched off for 5 minutes and were punished

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A month to save my job

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 1-1 Brentford

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Marshall, Gunter, Gibson, Morrison, Malone, Gunnarsson, Williams, Ralls (Lawrence 68), Immers, Vokes, Saadi

Another formation change, this time to a 4-1-2-1-2 and its stopped the rot, a solid point in front of only 14,000 at the Cardiff City Stadium, can we build on this?

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Birmingham City 0-0 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Gunter, Gibson, Morrison, Malone, Gunnarsson, Williams, Ralls, Immers (Pilkington 63), Vokes, Saadi (Noone 63)

The South Wales Echo reported a loss to Birmingham would seal my fate so luckily we drew at St Andrews, I deployed the 4-1-2-1-2 and it did its job, I have some hope

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Milton Keynes Dons 0-3 Cardiff City

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Marshall, Gunter, Gibson, Morrison, Malone, Gunnarsson, Williams, Ralls (Immers 77), Lawrence, Vokes, Saadi (Macheda 65)

A late Christmas present from the boys at stadium:mk in front of 1,500 City fans. Both strikers were on the scoresheet and Joniesta scored a screamer to cap his man of the match performance, Federicho Macheda plaed his first match following 4 months out with a damaged spine

SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
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Cardiff City 2-0 Nottingham Forest

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Marshall, Gunter, Gibson, Morrison, Malone (John 65), Gunnarsson, Williams (Whittingham 65), Ralls, Immers, Vokes, Saadi

Sam Vokes' brace felled 2nd placed Forest as we begin a nice little run (8 points from 4 games), a good performance, this formation is working a treat!

LEAGUE TABLE

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Lower than where we'd like to be but definitely some improvement
 

TheLuckDuck

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MACHEDA JOINS SASSUOLO

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Former Manchester United striker has today signed a four year contract with Serie A side US Sassuolo

The Italian striker, has joined Sassuolo from Championship side Cardiff City for £2m

The 24-year-old was believed to be on £22,000 a week at the Cardiff City Stadium and this is thought to be a factor in the sale

Macheda wasn't the only striker to leave City this week as Danish striker, Kenneth Zohore, returned to his parent club, Belgian side KV Kortijk, after 6 months in the Welsh capital
 
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