Cardiff City’s upturn in form under Mick McCarthy continued on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Bristol City in the Severnside Derby.
Some 40 miles separate the two outfits but it’s always a battle on the pitch, and goals from Curtis Nelson and Kieffer Moore settled the contest in the first half.
The Bluebirds are unbeaten in three outings since McCarthy and his assistant Terry Connor arrived at the club to replace Neil Harris, and it’s seen a complete system change to go along with the improved results.
Let’s take a look at one winner and one loser from the Bluebirds squad following that crucial two-goal victory against the Robins.
Winner: Aden Flint
Flint was recalled from his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday, where he was sidelined for months with a hamstring injury.
After not being in Neil Harris’ plans, it must have been a real surprise for the gangly centre-half to be thrust back into the action by McCarthy, and he’s started all three of his games in charge in what could be described as a renaissance.
Some Cardiff fans weren’t happy at his inclusion for the Bristol City game following an own goal against Millwall, but Flint repaid the faith shown by his new boss by keeping a clean sheet against the Robins as part of a back three with goalscorer Curtis Nelson and skipper Sean Morrison.
He now looks set to be a permanent fixture in McCarthy’s line-up and he may prove to be an important figure in the second half of the season.
Loser: Junior Hoilett
With Neil Harris tending to favour a 4-4-2 formation, McCarthy’s switch to a 5-3-2 with no wingers will seriously disadvantage a few Cardiff players.
Sheyi Ojo has found a home up-front with Kieffer Moore, but the likes of Junior Hoilett and Josh Murphy look likely to have to contend with places on the bench for the foreseeable future as long as the Bluebirds keep picking up points.
Hoilett could feasibly play behind the strikers, but Harry Wilson is very talented and would seemingly have that position locked down for now, so it could be a bit of a miserable few months for Canada international Hoilett.