SLADE SEES BLUEBIRDS TAKE OFF
THE MAN expected to be the next Cardiff City manager Russell Slade was in the stands and he will have been pretty pleased with what he saw – but Scott Young was just happy to get back to winning ways.
Slade quit Orient in anticipation of taking over in the Welsh capital and he would have had mixed feelings about Bluebirds centre-half Sean Morrison, who headed home emphatically in the right end in the first-half to give his side the lead before turning into his own net to hand the Owls a lifeline.
And Slade, who is expected to be named Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s successor imminently, would have been left thrilled when Anthony Pilkington blasted home what proved to be the winner on 61 minutes, and impressed then by how the Bluebirds battled to preserve their first win in six league games.
“To be fair the lads have put a shift in for us,” said former Cardiff centre-half Young.
“Winning breeds confidence. That is the most important thing. When you are winning games players get confidence.
“From day one we knew with the quality we have in the changing room that it would shine through.
“What we need to realise is that week-in-week-out, we have to put the hard work in.We need to show the desire to do the ugly things in football as well. We need to do our defensive work first.
“But they dug in at the end here and that is what we expect, that is our minimum requirement. When we were playing we gave everything. We ask for that and if this group with this quality do that we will be OK.”
Wednesday started the better and within six minutes only brilliant defending from Fabio stopped the visitors going ahead. Stevie May was put through, rounded David Marshall and, as he fired at the empty net, only the Brazilian’s goal-line clearance saved the day.
But the Bluebirds crafted the better chances after that with Keiren Westwood saving well from Aron Gunnarsson on 26 minutes.
But then the home side were ahead. Joe Mattock’s cynical handball was punished in sound fashion as Peter Whittingham delivered the perfect free-kick and Westwood had no chance this time with Morrison’s bullet header.
But five minutes into the second-half the Cardiff centrehalf was to score in the wrong end.
Chris Maguire’s low cross was right across the danger zone and Morrison sliding in could only turn it into his own goal with Marshall helpless.
Cardiff responded in positive fashion and on the hour Pilkington at the far post was only denied by another Westwood save.
But almost immediately Pilkington did score and the Bluebirds had the lead again as Jones nodded down a cross and the wideman showed great strength to force his way through and lash the ball home.
Straight away Craig Noone left the pitch and on came controver- sial midfielder Ravel Morrison to make his debut after his arrival on loan at Cardiff from West Ham and even he played his part as the home side held on.
Owls boss Stuart Gray said: “We started very well and Stevie May had a great an early chance.
“If we had got our noses in front we would have won as they would have been a bit nervous.
“But the disappointing thing was we did not play at the same intensity as we did in the first ten to 15 minutes and we allowed Cardiff back in the game.
“Once we went to 1-1 there was only one team that was going to win it, but it shows that if you do not defend your 18-yard box properly you are going to concede.”
RISING HIGH: Sean Morrison scores the first goal for Cardiff City. Inset: Pilkington notches the winner