Cardiff City have seriously boosted their promotion hopes in recent weeks following a run of form which has seen them win three of their last four Championship matches.
The Bluebirds sealed their latest three points when they conquered Huddersfield with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday night, with this convincing result seeing Neil Harris’ side climb up to eighth in the table and within four points of the top six.
Josh Murphy, Will Vaulks and Callum Paterson were all on target for Cardiff as they sealed a routine success at the John Smith’s Stadium which followed up victories over league leaders West Brom and Luton in the last couple of weeks.
This encouraging improvement in form means Harris’ men will now harvest serious hopes of breaking into the top six before the end of the season, even though they were languishing in the bottom half of the table when Harris took the job.
Here, we take a look at three reasons why a play-off bid could be on for the Bluebirds…
Harris’ system is starting to produce results
There was plenty of negativity surround Harris’ appointment back in November with many supporters claiming his style to be too similar to that of Neil Warnock, but it now appears as though Harris’ system is producing much better results.
There was a shaky spell around the festive period where Cardiff picked up one win in eight league games and this left some supporters questioning Harris’ position at the club, but it would be fair to say the situation has improved since then.
The Cardiff boss is now showing serious signs that he is developing an organised side in the Welsh capital, with the Bluebirds now on a six-game unbeaten run in the league where they have conceded just three goals overall.
Players are coming into form
Cardiff’s struggles during the early part of the season could be owed to a number of players not quite reaching their expected heights, but it now seems these men are playing with much more confidence after being trusted by Harris.
Vaulks and Murphy are two prime examples of players who have not been able to hold down a regular spot this season, but they are now playing some of their best football in a long time with both of them getting on the scoresheet last night.
The Welsh side certainly have a talented squad that is capable of winning promotion, but it will be vital that every player contributes during the final run-in and recent signs suggest this could end up being the case.
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The nature of their final run-in
Cardiff have started to develop a positive run of form in their last batch of games and they will now take this into two matches against struggling sides Wigan and Stoke, and two more victories here could see them take their tally to 55 points.
The Bluebirds then have a difficult run of matches against promotion-chasing sides Nottingham Forest and Brentford before a clash with Leeds two weeks later, but this could be an excellent chance to make ground on the top six.
This should particularly be the case given Cardiff on track to enter this run of fixtures on the back of a potential eight-game unbeaten run in the league, and these upcoming matches could well seriously alter Cardiff’s league position.