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Cardiff City vs. Bolton Wanderers

Cardiff City Stadium

27 April 2013


BWFC: Young Blood

There's a party going on this Saturday afternoon at the Cardiff City Stadium and if you have a Bolton Wanderers away ticket, you have an invite. Whether you want to stay for the sausage-on-sticks, however, will probably depend upon the result of the preceding football match. Cardiff City, as we already know, are the Championship champions- win, lose or draw. Malky Mackay's men have been as consistent as they have been unspectacular on their way to winning the title, but nobody can deny they deserve their newly crowned status. With nothing more to play for than giving the home supporters value for money in their last home game of the season, the manager has guaranteed no easy ride for the Trotters. On the flip-side of Mackay's rallying cry is the mounting injury-list and bubbling temptation to blood the youth of Cardiff's crop. Either way, the inexperienced, experimental or forced, unfamiliar team-sheet Mackay pits against Wanderers come 3pm must favour the away side. Dougie has seen and raised Mackay's hand by stating he has some youth talent of his own to blood and may unleash them on his Red Dragons this weekend. Whether this is a bluff remains to be seen, but whatever the team-sheets look like come Saturday afternoon, a win for the Whites would keep their hopes very much alive for a play-off place. The question is: if Cardiff go 0-1 down during the match, how much desire will they have to get back on terms? The answer to this question will determine how many points the gate-crashers leave the party with.

Vital Quotes:

'It`s like a light switch, you`re either on or off... We must go and win. We can`t take any chances. The teams behind us could win. I know we`ll know the Leicester result but therefore the pressure will be coming from behind, and that hasn`t happened so far this season. It has been about us catching up. I need to approach the game in such a way that in the last 10 minutes I might have to throw a centre-half up front to get me a goal. At this particular stage of the season, wins are pretty much the only thing you need.' Dougie fearing pressure from behind...the hunter has become the hunted. He's going all-out for a win... good, good.
'We must respect the division and other clubs. There is a lot riding on matches tomorrow, for Bolton and other clubs vying for play-off places. We will be open and transparent in the way we go about things, prepare as we always prepare. Just look at the battle for play-off places - and the number of clubs involved near the foot of the table. That makes this league so exciting. There are still challenges everywhere, at the top and near the bottom. For our part we want to finish this season on a high.' I'm sure Malky Mackay means it but how much does he believe it? Time will tell.

Cardiff City Team News:

Leon Barnett has been recalled by parent-club Norwich, Nicky Maynard is still playing behind-closed-doors matches and Matt Connolly is still crocked. Oh, Frazier Campbell will be assessed but is unlikely to feature. We've still got to contend with Craig Bellamy, probably, so hold off the cheering just yet.

Player to watch: Craig Bellamy

It's got to be, hasn't it? The native Cardiffian will run, run and run some more if the result isn't going the way of his boyhood club. Even if every other member of his team are dreaming of the Premiership, Bellamy will know what it's like to be sat in the home stands. If he's not bothered, they may as well call off the match and mail us the points, recorded delivery.

Bolton Wanderers Team News:

The Whites will be without Spearing and Ngog for the remainder of the regular season. Stu.S.A may get the nod in Jay's absence and Eaves is almost assured of at least a place on the bench with Ngog's injury and SKD's exclusion. There may be a place for young Zach Clough in the squad for the trip to Cardiff. Exciting times to be a Wanderer.

Player to watch: Dougie Freedman

It's been a few years since our manager has been the 'player to watch'. There are a few players I could have mentioned but I don't think tomorrow will come down to any one individual on the pitch. Keeping 26000 home fans from caring about the result is going to be key in winning this football match. If the crowd don't care the team won't care. Cardiff are there for the taking and if Dougie plays it right tomorrow, we'll be out the back-door with the points in the bag. No rash challenges, no silly mistakes and respect for the Champions' supporters and Dougie will masterminded the desired outcome.

Match Facts & Stats

Bolton Wanderers have played Cardiff City 66 times in their histories. Wanderers hold a 34 win lead to Cardiff's 21, with 11 draws. It's the first time we've visited the Cardiff City Stadium so this is unknown territory for the players and fans.

Match Prediction:

This could be the easiest game of the season or it could be the toughest. I honestly think they're there for the taking and if Dougie manages to keep the crowd out of it, it'll be a stroll in the Welsh Valleys... 0-2 to the visitors.

Next Fixtures:

As a kid, I always wanted Blackpool to come to Bolton. Not exactly what I had in mind but all the same... Blackpool at the Reebok for what could be a must-win game. I know you'll be there...

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The Journalist

Writer: bwfc_85 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 26 2013

Time: 8:10PM

Your Comments

bwfc_85, is there anyway i could send the guest article i wrote, too you. not heard back from al, sent it on sunday. sent it through email too - cheers, keep up the good work.
wow...Thank you watford!!!!! it's in our hands. come on you white men!!!
So Watford did us a favour and defeated Leicester. That means that if we can beat Cardiff, the only thing that can stop us guaranteeing a play-off place is Forest's trip to Millwall. It's entirely possible, of course, that both us and Forest lose, which would leave us needing to win on the final day. As much as it makes me nervous, that's what I'm predicting...
the gods are still smiling on us, looking forward to reading the article from bowton - who speaks from the heart, enjoy everything he says. Obviously hoping results go our way today, at least keeping our nose in front. Better go and give my glasses a good clean !
aussie mike
So now very seriously what is the best way to follow today's game for someone not located close enough to pickup GMR or KeyFM ? I have wanderers player, but the commentary is a bit boring and am interested in alternatives. am happy to pay subscription if necessary ie not looking for a hookey feed. Hope our players hold their nerve today, I'm certainly nervous ! But the Leicester result is very helpful. Just need Forest to capitulate....
Looking forward to Bowtons article too, and nice write up bwfc ! This forum is going from strength to strength
These sort of games can swing either way, although agree this is probably the best time to play Cardiff, both from the point of our form and their being in celebration mode. Bellamy is a talisman for them and I've rarely seen him looking not bothered, so that is indeed a worry as he will get them going if they don't look up for it. I don't see this one being at all easy but hopefully the party factor and our desire will get us a result as I think we'll need at least a point to fend off Forest. Great to hear Dougie's fighting talk and really exciting to see the element of surprise the young strikers could give us. Overall I'm 7/10 optimistic for this one. Chicory, the best place to follow this game will be from behind the sofa and probably under quite a lot of cushions!
Skopelos Chris
I'm (rather unfortunately) working today and as a result I'm missing the game. I did manage to have a recurring dream where we won 2-1 after going behind to Bellamy scoring early on and every time the final whistle went I woke up. I'm knackered today. Seeing as I've already watched this match four times I think I'm going to have a little flutter...
Chicory Coffee - I could not go today and will be listening to Tower FM on the radio. For some licencing reasons they and GMR cannot transmit on their websites. Agree that the Wanderers player commentator Phil Gittins? is the most terrible, droning, no excitement, football commentator I have ever heard. Not on any of the reckognised internet free sites so you could watch the twitter feed from @bwfc, @towerFMsport, watch the live comments from Marc Iles on the Bolton News site, watch the live comments on Yahoo or the BBC Sport/Football websites. Good luck!
Keep up the good work bwfc_85! Appreciate your efforts and good writing skills.
@LionOfViennaSte have correspondents tweeting live too
bowton- I know Al's been ill this week so he may not have read it. You can send it to me by all means: I don't have the authority to put it on the site myself without permission- that's up to Al, but I'll certainly give it a read. Cheers.
bowton- if you do send it to me, let me know on here when you've sent it. It's easier to keep checking on here than keep logging into hotmail.
Chicory Coffee et al - it has one link on the FIRST ROW live football stream website.
hey just sent it too you now 85. oh and there is a site, i wont put the link on (dont think it will be aloud)but just type in firstrow into your search engine. it's pretty straight forward to find the link to the match, it's been very rare this season to stream any of our matches.
Cracking stuff from bwfc_85 as usual. Agree with Chicory about this being a great site; an excellent range of views, cogent argument and erudite, thoughtful writing. Have read some of the other Vitals and they are full of shouty, partisan drivel. I like that we can disagree fundamentally with each other but we are held together by the Whites glue and we reconcile our differences. I missed it while I was in exile!
And we missed you fred.
Any road...thoughts on today. A backward glance to the time of DF's appointment really puts today's game into perspective. I think a lot of us were wearing AussieMike's "****-tinted spectacles" back then and thinking that we really didn't need back-to-back relegation struggles. So, yes, it is an exciting time to be a Wanderer, especially after last night's result (and I, like others, would prefer Watford to Brighton in the play-offs). I can remember a game at Burnden on 29th April 1978, three days after we had clinched promotion courtesy of Sir Frank at Blackburn, when we invited Fulham to our celebration party. It was a very warm spring day if memory serves - perfect for a few pre-match Tetley's and a feast of football - the result a disappointing 0-0 draw! Could be an omen for today or we could go one better than Fulham and nick a win. I have been saying pretty much all season that we need to find a consistent striker to convert a greater percentage of the chances we create and to be honest I would like us to have 4 shots on target per game and have a 100% conversion rate. Failing that I want a striker like the boy Lineacre who never scored a goal from outside the box and stuck it in the onion bag with every legitimate part of his body. Eaves and Clough?? The 21st century Walker & SuperJohn or Frank & Neil or Byrom & Neil or Eidur or Anelka or...or...I can, though, see a point coming our way at least in the next couple of hours or so. COYWM!
Thank you Gav!
Also one link on Wiziwig
I am a primary school teacher in north London. And as a male of the species and of a certain age, a PE/sport specialist and a dinosaur in a female dominated universe. I wear Bolton shirts when doing my PE sessions which invites the inevitable question from the Chelsea/Liverpool/ManU supporting kids "Why do you support Bolton, Mr H?" Easy answer - "Because I was born there." Me: "So why don't you support Arsenal or Barnet?" For the record my son does support Arsenal which is slightly irritating!
FredMadagascar both streams pretty jumpy and jerky but better than nothing
So far so good!
Thanks for your help guys !
Fair enough. But disappointing. We could have won that but a draw is right result. Bit of a non event really. Beat the tangerines and it's in our hands.
Great point at the end of the day. Have come out from behind the sofa for a celebratory pint. Just got to keep it together and get the win against Blackpool now. Pheeeew! and Yeeees!
Skopelos Chris
Usual stuff. We haven't really improved. A good ten or twenty minutes and then hang on. When will we see a consistent 90+ mins. Thought our right and left backs particularly poor.
And still no strike threat. You never get that feeling that any of our strikers will score.
Can't agree we haven't improved. Turning the performances around to get us to the position we are now with one game left is little short of miraculous. We certainly still have a lot to do to get that 90 min consistency and make the sort of difference that might have got us a win today, or a result at Leicester, avoided the Ipswich/Charlton slip ups etc but we are surely moving in the right direction. I can't feel in any way disappointed with our position or performance today, but I can tell you I was bloody despondent back in January. We might ride our luck but we could be back in the prem next season... Come on!
Skopelos Chris
53% - 47% possession Shots 11 9 On target 8 5 Corners 7 2 Fouls 13 12 I should have said - have not kept on improving, obviously we have improved but seem to have come to a grinding halt
Don't forget we were playing the team that led the league an dominated from day 1. Agree we could be better in strike rate, chances created, defenders who can defend at a high level, consistency throughout games ( and whether we're in shape to do much more than get relegated from the prem is a question) but all these things are being addressed. We play with a good shape, keep the ball, defend reasonably well, have discipline and passion again, and are on the best run of form we've seen for years. I'm more excited by Wanderers and the direction we're going in now than I have been for I don't know how long. Cheer up! It's getting better and more importantly the improvement looks as if it has solid foundations...
Skopelos Chris
I expected Forest to win at Millwall, but to counter that the draw we achieved was the worst result I hoped for, we retain control and that is absolutely significant with only one game left. In a strange way our draw today could work in our favour, it means Leicester are still in the hunt and I now expect them to put in a fierce fight against Forest next weekend. Had we won today Leicester were out of it, suggesting they would roll over with nothing to play for, giving Forest a much easier game and a near certain bet for victory, now there is a greater chance that game could end up a draw, which would provide us a cushion should we fail to win and also draw against Pool. Of course only a victory next Saturday will assure our place in the play offs but at least Forest and Leicester now face a tougher game than either would have hoped for.
aussie mike
Failed to acknowledge that had we won today, we would have had the comfort of only needing a draw against Blackpool anyway, regardless of Forest beating Leicester - missed that completely in my previous comment.
aussie mike
I agree with Chris that things are hugely more positive than for a long long time. Nice to be able to be positive most of the time. Today's game was a bit of a chess game without much threat at either end but I guess a point away at the champions is a decent result. To continue a discussion from earlier - do we want to go up this year? Financially, of course we do as it means massive millions get poured into the coffers to pay down ED's debt and perhaps buy players. Another year in the championship could see us consolidate the big improvement under DF, add a few players, pay down a bit of debt and then ride roughshod over the division next season. We would then go up in twelve months far better prepared to survive in the premier league rather than go up this time and struggle before coming straight back down. Mind you I will definitely go to Wembley should we get there!
Happy with a point. We're still in 6. It's still in our hands. Shame though, if we had won and Forest and Charlton lost, we would've been confirmed the play offs.
I think that Forest are Leicester's Man U too!!
surprised DF is putting young players with no experience into the team at this crucial stage, when Holden and Wheater are sat warming the bench. Lest we forget Holden is our most talented midfield player by miles able to attack and score goals against the best opponents, singlehandedly capable of turning games on their head. I fully support blooding young talent but would expect to see that take place at the start of the season when there is little or no pressure on anyone. Seriously hope Holden gets a start against Blackpool, I think it would lift the team and partnering him with Medo could add a cutting edge to our game whenever we move from defence to attack. we hear a lot of talk about fitness levels and fine tuning players in training before they will be considered, though Butterfield was selected from the off which contradicted that. I hold the opinion if your going to take a calculated risk in the really important games, start off with the most experienced and gifted players in the squad and if it looks like it is not working substitute them at half time, giving them the last 15 minutes or not using them at all seems utterly futile.
aussie mike
Obviously results and form wise this is the best we have known for a long while. Further than that though I believe we could be on the brink of a fantastic period for our club. The last time we had this kind of success we had a team stuffed with ex internationals and those about to retire (there were I agree one or two exceptions) however they all came at a price we in the end couldn't afford. Now though we have the beginnings of a good well run squad who won't be on massive wages and are in the main the right side of thirty.
For the record I am delighted with todays result as I thought we would struggle. I think it will be nice to confirm the play off place on our own ground too. Think of the joy next Saturday if all goes to plan, it will make up for last years final day to some degree.
Finally, I don't know we have seen enough from holden to say he should play now from the start. I would have to question dropping Pratley who would be in my top three players this season.
I don't think you can compare Pratley with Holden in the same breath, Holden has the class and skill Pratley could only dream about. Quality players are wired differently they operate on the pitch at a different level, able to move the ball with greater certainty and confidence, average players unfortunately, no matter how hard they try, tend to remain nothing more than. Alas, one great player does not make a great team, his good work can be undone by those around him but it does provide opportunities during a game that would otherwise not exist and that for me is the point.
aussie mike
I agree that the Holden that we had pre jonny evans was a superior player to pretty much every other in our squad then or now. However I am yet to see anything like that player since his return. I hope that we will see that next season. As for now I believe we should not change a winning team. They have the impetus now to finish the job and having lost Spearing
it would be stupid to change the other if not ever present, then regular central midfield player. I still think Pratley gets a bad rap at Bolton. He must be the most improved player if not in the league then at Bolton this year. I would stick to Medo and Pratley with Holden and Vela on the bench.
I respect everything Pratley offers to the team, the lad himself along with other players take their place in the team based on the judgement of management.. The point I originally made was not a personal debate concerning Holden & Pratley it centred on the attributes the likes of Holden and Wheater have clearly demonstrated previously and what they can offer the team. Pre Christmas everyone was banking on their return, for reasons only the club is privy to they have not been returned to the team and that is something I find disconcerting. I find it hard to accept their natural abilities have deserted them, good players don't turn bad overnight, as I recall Holden was outstanding in his original return game against Villa, then blighted by the setback of necessary corrective surgery. Why should I feel the potential impact from his return now would be any different to how it was then ? Similarly Wheater was a constant added threat in our attack from the headed goals he scored from corners and free kicks - how many such goals have our regular defenders this season scored ? nil. How many headed goals of that type do our forwards get ? virtually nil ? There is a clearly something absent from our game when we cannot pose a threat in the air at corners and such like, hence I ponder why Wheater is over looked for other defenders who regularly struggle at defending let alone offering nothing to our attack.
aussie mike
I wonder how much heading practice from corners they really do at training. I wonder how much corner taking practice they do? How many wasted corner kicks do you regularly see? How many times are they really effective enabling someone to get a proper forceful head on to it? Dawson's headed goals soon dried up. Alonso used to be able to get some power on a header but why Zat, with his 50p shaped head even bothers to go up for corners apart from being a nuisance I fail to understand! It's a skill that has been lost to the Wanderers
Pratley has certainly improved from being the loathed "Prat"! but the one thing he still hasn't mastered is how to trap a ball and keep it without losing possession. Is there any hope he will learn after all this time?
I agree about Knight he seems to have square head!!! It would seem to be the case that headers go begging regularly. I can't remember the last goal we scored directly from a corner. Having said that I can't remember the last goal we conceded from one either. Could just be my memory. Maybe DF has been concentrating his efforts elsewhere and to be fair our general improvement would point to that.
i think it's far too much of a gamble, to rely on two players who haven't seen any real game time over a year. i trust dougie's judgement so far, and i trust his reasoning for their exclusions will be based on if they will make a better impact then either of their counterparts in the starting eleven. we see/hear about the players for 90 mins a week, the management team spend everyday with them. i'm desperate too see both wheat-pie and holden, and it seemed a dead cert that wheater was going to start a couple of weeks ago, alas that didn't happen because he picked up a slight injury. can't wait for next week, due to professionalism i'm not aloud to clap or cheer (i still do anyhow.) but if we get a win next saturday and you see a jumping orange luminescent jacket. well you now know who it is.
I agree with Gav on a lot of things. Yes this does look like we could be on the verge of an exciting era; youthful squad, good manager who seems to combine motivation with tactical nous (and I admit I didn't really want him!) Don't think we are comparing Holden and Pratley but I agree that Dazza is a massively improved and more confident player. I would definitely be tempted to stick with what has been working the past few months rather than a gamble on Holden and Wheater. It is probably undeniable that all of us would put both of them in our starting XI in a perfectly match-fit universe but I am assuming that this is not the case. I am really rather puzzled as to why they are consistently on the bench but consistently not being used. I do believe, however, that the nucleus of the regular team for the last few months is perfectly capable of getting the results we need to take us to the Barclays Promised Land. With a caveat regarding our strikers who don't seem capable of hitting a floodlit target-painted cows arse with a double base-sized laser-guided banjo. Que sera sera, DF will pick his teams and, let's face it, he has made a pretty decent fist of it so far. Hell, Zat Knight was getting both barrels from everybody a few months ago and nobody has mentioned him in ages! A draw away at the champions is a brilliant result in it's own right let alone set against where we were a few months ago. Here's hoping Leicester and Forest slug out a draw and we beat a Blackpool side with nothing to play for. Then take it from there. Dare to believe!
Just watched 6 mins of highlights and getting back to Pratley again he really missed a "sitter" - straight at the keeper - that would be an interesting stat - how many of our shots "on" target have been hit or just a soft pass/scuff straight at the keeper. Why can't they aim them at a point furthest away from the keeper and at least give themselves a chance? Surely they practice defending close free kicks too? Watched the goal a few more times and it really looks if Bogdan should have been able to save it. I'll admit his other saves were good but on the one time where he was ready for a shot he doesn't seem to have the spring of Lonergan.
Mike, I believe it was me that made the debate about Pratley v Holden as Holden would naturally replace Pratley were he to start. I agree that Holden was good against villa last year but he has been singularly un impressive since his return this season. As I said before I am sure he will improve but for now he hasn't shown enough to start. Surely you don't believe any player justifies his position on reputation or past performance? Also I don't believe the management are picking players over Holden and Wheater for any reason other than current ability and performance level, why would they?
Wheater has been injured twice already - once for quite a while - since he returned from the long term one. I'm sure DF doesn't want to push someone who's not match fit and risk losing them long term again. Holden was out for two full years and sending him out on loan was an obvious move to get him some match fitness. He needs that back before he's any use to us - if he's still not there than that's what pre-season is for and we'll just have to wait. Dawson has scored four (I think?) headed goals from corners but he's been worked out - in reality the percentage of goals scored from corners is minuscule and concentrating on it in training is something only a team of exceptionally tall players would do (e.g. Stoke). I was very happy with yesterday's result as I was convinced Cardiff were still playing too well for us to be able to get close to them but I'm very happy to have been proven wrong and will take a point all day long. Now we just have the small matter of Tom Ince to deal with on Saturday and we'll hopefully be home and dry...
All comments accepted regarding Holden, general team selection and tactics. Well my tinted glasses predicted the Forest, Watford and Cardiff results, so maybe they are not that tinted after all. As for next Saturday I must be confident we will beat Blackpool, the first goal could be crucial, if they score and we are then pressed to attack we could be left exposed at the back with Ince and co lurking to race in on the counter attack. On the other hand should we score first I would expect us to close things down and take control. This game is an ideal precursor for the play offs, a litmus test on how we cope in one off must win games. Hard to imagine 3 teams would still have a chance of that last spot as the last games kick off.
aussie mike
I've been an avid reader of this site for a few years, so am well versed in the negativity that can come from Antipodean Michael... but the comment that "the draw we achieved was the worst result I hoped for"... C'mon Mike. We drew against the champions at their ground. And our away form has been pretty abysmal this season. And to do it at this stage with the added pressure of how close we are to a place in the play-offs... surely its not the "...the worst result I hoped for". Its in our hands. If we had lost, it wouldn't be... Forest would be above us. We've one game to go and if we win it we're in the play-offs. Can you remember February? I know you like a whinge Mike but I'm really struggling to see how you can justify comments like that.
Is this the most commented thread ever on here? Anyway I reckon by 2.40ish next Saturday we will all be planning our Wembley away day.
Que sera sera!
What will be will be
We're going to Wemberley
Que sera sera
Dear Coober - thanks for pointing out my mistake, I meant to say " best result " not " worst result" if you go back to all the articles last week prior to the match, I repeatedly said I believed a draw was the best result I hoped we would achieve, precisely for the reason you kindly describe, to keep us in control as I thought Forest would beat Millwall. Boltongav raises a very interesting question worthy of debate by supporters on this blog - should players be selected purely on the basis of reputation or past performances ? - Holden & Wheater aside, to stir up debate it could be claimed SKD was regularly selected on the basis his reputation preceded him. Selection is generally symptomatic of the managers trust and confidence in what each player is capable of bringing to the game, although actual performance may fail to deliver or fall short of expectations. In those circumstances do you drop the player or persevere hoping they will come good ?
aussie mike
I completely agree miki regarding skd and I think we all felt he should have been dropped long before he was. The problem was that it takes big cahones to come in and drop the club captain and legend at Bolton he undoubtedly is. I think we have been all the better since he was dropped. That is partly why I feel that way about students and wheater.
Miki!!!!!! Bloody predictive text.
Miki! HaHaHa! Also agree about SKD; picked well past his sell-by date. Wheats & Students not starting due to lack of match fitness one assumes. We have to trust DF's judgement. In a perfect universe of course the pair of them would be first choices but that is presumably for next season after a summer of rehab. And pre-season friendlies against teams without amateur hatchet men. King Michael Of All The Australasians is veering to towards some serious positivity which I take, in a Punxsutawney Phil sort of way, to presage a victory over Ince junior and his band of tangerines. Maybe we should have a Vital beer before the game at Wembley?
And I for one do like to be kept apraised of which eye-wear Mike has selected to accompany his ruminations.
There have been distinct signs of rose-tintedness of late. Methinks it's an omen!
Sounds like a plan Fred. Count me in. We should pick a venue now as I am sure we will be at Wembley.
No worries Mike. I didn't realise it was a mistake :-)

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