This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Fan Perspective’ series, this content strand is where we deliver an opinion-based outlook from the perspective of a certain club’s fanbase on the matter at hand…
The 2019/20 Championship season has been full of twists and turns so far and with fixtures suspended until the 3rd of April at the earliest, there are surely more in store before the end of the campaign.
With that in mind, you’d be foolish to discount Cardiff City as play-off and indeed promotion contenders.
Neil Harris declared just that back in February and now has his side within touching distance of the top six, sitting two points back in ninth.
The Bluebirds’ aspirations to bounce back up to the Premier League at the first time of asking are clear but you feel given the way things have gone over the last few months, fans may end the season happy even if they miss out on that goal.
That is because the identity of Cardiff under Harris has begun to emerge over the last few months will have created a fair amount of optimism looking ahead to the 2020/21 season.
When Neil Warnock left the club after a Severnside Derby defeat to Bristol City back in November there will likely have been a fair amount of concern about where that left the club, both in terms of how they could compete this season and their identity moving further ahead of that.
Warnock was, of course, a promotion specialist–having achieved the feat more than any manager in the history of English League football–and had spent a fairly significant amount of money (around £16 million as per Transfermarkt) building a squad to help him get Cardiff back to the promised land.
Harris does not have as impressive a record and was not known for playing the most aesthetically pleasing football with the Lions, so the frustrated reaction to him from some fans is understandable.
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However, the Bluebirds boss has ridden some early wobbles and some injury issues and now has them looking good.
They were 14th when he took charge and have climbed to ninth now but their ascent of the table is far from the only positive either.
The central defensive partnership of Sean Morrison and Curtis Nelson looks really promising, as do the options in central midfield–Marlon Pack, Will Vaulks and Joe Ralls.
The loan signing of Albert Adomah has looked an inspired move and will surely be made permanent in the summer, while Lee Tomlin has looked a different player since Harris took charge.
A play-off place has to be Cardiff’s target now but you feel there is an awful lot to be cheerful about for fans should they fall short.