Ex-Cardiff City defender Danny Gabbidon has cited the Bluebirds’ lack of fight as his number one concern about the club amid a torrid September, speaking to BBC Radio Wales.
Mick McCarthy’s side suffered a humiliating 4-0 home defeat to promotion-contenders West Bromwich Albion yesterday evening – their fourth consecutive league defeat that leaves them in a precarious 16th position with the five teams directly below the Welsh outfit having a game in hand over them.
With one more match against Reading left to go before the next international break, they are in real danger of being dragged into a relegation scrap ahead of their next set of fixtures, a disastrous turn of events after going unbeaten in their first four league games of the 2021/22 campaign.
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This is a far cry from their form early on in Mick McCarthy’s tenure, not losing any of his opening 11 league matches in charge and looking like possible play-off contenders before a slight drop-off in their form.
Even without Harry Wilson whose loan agreement expired in the summer, they still looked like a possible contender for a top-six finish at the start of this campaign with Kieffer Moore set to be a key figure again after a positive Euro 2020 campaign with Wales in the summer.
However, an underwhelming transfer window and players failing to step up to the plate has cost them – and the latter is of particular concern to Danny Gabbidon who played for the Bluebirds during three separate spells.
He said to BBC Radio Wales (quotes via BBC Sport): “I’m looking at this Cardiff City team now and they’re not even doing the basics right and you’ve got no chance of winning any game if you’re not going to work for your team-mate, if you’re not going to be organised, if you’re not going to try and put up a fight.
“I’m not seeing any fight from this Cardiff City team – that’s what’s alarming – and when you get to that stage as a manager you are under pressure.
“Mick’ll know he’s under pressure now. The last three or four performances have been nowhere near good enough and he will know that the buck stops with him now.”
They definitely need a bit of confidence after such a bad run of results, that’s for sure.
The departure of Harry Wilson was a blow after seeing him register 19 goal contributions in 37 league appearances last term, but they should still be doing a lot better and you have to wonder whether the team’s form will improve if/when Moore steps up to the plate like he did during the 2020/21 season.
Gabbidon is right in saying that they need to go back to basics. Their form may not drastically improve straight away with this simplicity, but it’s a start and will hopefully help to improve their form for the long term.
Unfortunately, it could be curtains for Mick McCarthy if he fails to win three points against an in-form Reading at the weekend, so the time between last night and 3pm on Saturday could be crucial for his future and something definitely needs to change.
The one positive? Surely it can’t get any worse? If it does, you could definitely see a new man being installed by the time the next international break ends, because this form is unsustainable if they want to record a respectable finish this term.