Cardiff City for the most part have defied the odds in the past two years, and much of that is down to Neil Warnock, who has done a brilliant job in Wales by building a team that never gives up.
It is that togetherness which will be crucial to Cardiff’s chances of success next season, as well as the individual brilliance of players like Junior Hoilett, Bobby Reid and Josh Murphy.
Therefore, they will start as one of the favourites for promotion following their relegation to the Championship and nobody will back against the Bluebird given Warnock’s record.
However, he will need to make the right additions and also keep hold of key men if Cardiff are to be successful.
And, here are THREE players that they must keep in order to ensure their stay outside the Premier League is a brief one…
It is no coincidence that Cardiff’s fortunes began to turn around when he joined the club in 2016.
He has been one of the best defenders in the Championship in the last few years, and he was ever present in the Cardiff side which won promotion most recently.
He is massive to the club on and off the pitch and despite being 34 he is valuable to Warnock. The Bluebirds have other strong defenders in Sean Morrison and Bruno Ecuele Manga, but Bamba is a real leader.
Paterson is no longer just known as a useful versatility player. He has been awarded Cardiff’s Player of the Year in consecutive seasons now, and it is well deserved.
He is perhaps their most hard-working player and in the last two years has contributed 14 goals and six assists. Although he does occasionally play up front, that is a great return for a player who doesn’t base his game on finishing or splitting defences open.
The ex-Hearts man is arguably Warnock’s most important player, and his ability to feature in a number of position helps greatly. It is hard to believe he is only 24 because he shows maturity beyond his years and is a player who most Championship teams would love to have.
This is a chance for Reid to show Cardiff fans what he is all about, and why they spent £10 million on him last summer.
He showed glimpses of his quality last season but he will get to do so more in the Championship where Cardiff should be amongst the best teams in the league.
In his last spell in the Championship he scored 19 goals and made 7 assists for Bristol City. If he could replicate that tally or improve, then Cardiff will have a prolific striker leading the line – which is what they missed last season.