What a wake up call we all had on Saturday afternoon. If anyone thought we had everything sussed then they would be very mistaken, as the defeat to Middlesbrough proved.
We’ve had a few games this season that could have gone either way, but on Saturday all our bad luck and misfortune came at once and that game showed how much we’ve got to improve.
It’s true that we did have a lot of players out injured, but we still put out a team which should have been more than capable of getting a result on the day.
It was a very disappointing result and performance and we know we can do much better. But having said that, Middlesbrough are a very under-rated team who played very well on Saturday. I’m sure they will finish high in the table this season.
They are very organised with plenty of flair up front. With Steve McClaren in charge and Gareth Southgate carrying out his instructions on the pitch, they will do well. That was virtually their full-strength side out on Saturday.
So I suppose we are lucky in a way that we have another game just three days later in which we can try to put Saturday’s result right. We were all disappointed with the performance, but we have an immediate chance to get back to winning ways.
I’d like to welcome Cardiff here this evening, but at the same time I have to say that we must not under-estimate their challenge. Even if we had got a win against Boro, tonight’s game was never going to be an easy one.
Cardiff are flying high at the top of the Second Division and we must make sure we approach the game with a professional attitude.
Obviously this is a competition in which we did well last season to reach the final and we want to try to repeat that this year, and that starts this evening.
This is an important game for us, we must return to winning form and we need your help in doing so.
Enjoy the game.