For a short period last season it looked as though Mick McCarthy was going to lead Cardiff City into the Championship play-offs, just a year after Neil Harris did the exact same thing after coming into the Bluebirds midway through the season.
The former Ireland boss could not do what Harris did though and Cardiff eventually finished in eighth place with 68 points, which was a decent effort considering the form the club were in before McCarthy arrived in January.
Squad strengthening will have to be done though in order to move to that next level into the play-offs, and it’s already unlikely that one of last season’s key players will be coming back.
Cardiff pulled off a coup last summer to bring in Wales international Harry Wilson on loan from Liverpool – he’s destined for a Premier League move so that’s one player who needs to be replaced.
With several transfer rumours floating about, let’s look at how Cardiff could line up in August for their first game of the 2021-22 Championship season.