Cardiff scoring four goals against Birmingham City is not a new or rare occurrence.
Fans are slagging off Pep Clotet’s substitutions, Harlee Dean’s sending off and more. The basic, honest truth which should be faced, is that away from home our defence is shocking. Swansea hit three against us, likewise Derby County and Nottingham Forest. In the League Cup Portsmouth also scored three. This is not abnormal for Blues this season.
We are not clever on our travels with our defensive tactics. However, we do well at home and have amassed points. Harlee Dean’s absence I hear maybe a blessing for some fans with Clarke-Salter the favourite to step up. This player certainly needs to play first team football at his age and experience, likewise Harding who hasn’t really done much wrong in the past. These are the decisions Clotet must make in order to get more points over the next three games without Dean.
My question is whether Dean as a player has improved since joining us from Brentford and it is difficult to assess. Would Harding have become a better player if given the games Dean has enjoyed or would Clarke-Salter have been a steadier player given the same games. My point is that the absence of Dean is not a big deal. He is not a great colossal figurehead nor a great leader in my opinion but a decent player that benefitted more when Morrison partnered him.
Somehow we have to address this leakage of away goals and Clarke-Salter or Harding could be the answer. Against Fulham, which is a test despite them shipping three goals to Hull last Saturday, they will pose dangers to our centre backs. Enough, however, with the defensive issue.
Work at Wast Hills this week should centre around the top end with chances created resulting in goals. Forget the talk about Dean and replacements from now on and urge Clotet and co to get the likes of Mrabti, Maghoma, Gimenez, Bailey and Jutkiewicz to start seriously hitting the net. Our goals for column is poor and the minus is getting a little bigger. This is not what gets us into a top six spot.
All teams pushing for what we want do not struggle to get on the plus side of goals averages. Pedersen and the midfielders do chip in but surely there is enough to work on for at least a couple of strikers to contribute more.