Cardiff City endured another frustrating night on Wednesday, as they were beaten 2-0 by Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Goals from the returning Tom Cairney and Aleksandar Mitrovic in a matter of six second half minutes were enough to secure all three points for the hosts, and condemn Cardiff to a seventh consecutive defeat.
That run has seen the Bluebirds drop to 21st in the Championship table, just two points clear of the relegation zone, and means there is still much to think about for manager Mick McCarthy.
So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at two things we clearly learned about Cardiff from that defeat to Fulham, right here.
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A change in defensive setup
One source of frustration for Cardiff fans recently, has been McCarthy’s continuous approach of naming five centre backs as his defensive lineup from the start of games.
That would change at Fulham though, with Aden Flint and Mark McGuiness forming a central defensive pair, with full-backs Perry Ng and Joel Bagan lining up on either side of a back four.
It seems therefore, that McCarthy may now feel the time has come to change his approach in an attempt to turn things around, but with Fulham still managing to get 24 shots away over the course of the 90 minutes, it will be interesting to see if this is an alteration he chooses to stick with.
Goals remain a problem
While much of the focus has been on Cardiff’s defensive setup recently, it is worth noting that things haven’t been much better at the other end of the pitch for the Bluebirds.
Having failed to find a way passed Marek Rodak in the Fulham goal, Cardiff have now scored just once in this run of seven defeats, and that was nothing more than a consolation in their 5-1 thrashing by Blackburn, when Sean Morrison headed in from a corner.
Given the attacking players they have on offer, not least Kieffer Moore – who scored 20 last season – that is well below par, and with only two of their 15 shots against Fulham on target, something urgently has to change here is the Bluebirds are to find the goals to get them out of trouble.
All on Middlesbrough for McCarthy
Following his side’s rather dismal 3-0 defeat at local rivals Swansea on Sunday, it was reported that McCarthy had been given two more games to save his job.
The first of those against Fulham here most certainly did not go to plan, meaning you feel he has to get a result from Saturday’s clash with Middlesbrough in the Welsh capital to keep himself in the role, especially considering it is only Derby’s points deduction keeping them out of the relegation zone.
But with ‘Boro going into that game tenth in the table, with three wins in their last four – including back to back victories over struggling Peterborough and Barnsley – that may not be an easy task for McCarthy and co.