BLUE­BIRDS CAN’T HIT HIGH NOTES

Slade is dis­mayed by Cardiff show­ing

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By An­drew Pen­man

CARDIFF City man­ager Rus­sell Slade ad­mit­ted his side must im­prove if they are to sus­tain a pro­mo­tion chal­lenge after be­ing held at home by strug­gling Rother­ham United.

The Blue­birds were sec­ond best for long pe­ri­ods and left the Cardiff City Sta­dium pitch to boos from some home fans fol­low­ing a frus­trat­ing stale­mate.

Slade had won four out of four at home since tak­ing charge in Oc­to­ber and ended his wait for a win on the road at Wat­ford last week.

But Cardiff looked de­void of ideas against Steve Evans’ en­ter­pris­ing Rother­ham.

“I’m re­ally dis­ap­pointed,” said Slade.“We got a ter­rific re­sult last week and some­times as a man­ager you don’t see that kind of per­for­mance com­ing.

“We were be­low par out there and it’s frus­trat­ing for all of us.”

The for­mer Ley­ton Ori­ent boss de­fended his record since re­plac­ing Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer in the Welsh cap­i­tal but ad­mit­ted there is still plenty of room for im­prove­ment.

“I don’t see it as a lack of con­sis­tency,” he said.“It’s one game.

“I’ve had nine games, won five, drawn two and lost two and I think that’s fairly con­sis­tent.

“But we’re not the fin­ished ar­ti­cle. We have a lot to im­prove in ev­ery area and there is a lot of work to do if we are go­ing to get to where we want to go.”

The high­light of an un­event­ful first half saw vis­it­ing de­fender Scott Woot­ton de­nied a goal by Cardiff cen­tre-back Ben Turner’s well-timed block.

From the cor­ner a goal­mouth scram­ble in the Blue­birds box led to a poked Tom Lawrence ef­fort be­ing cleared off the line and the hosts sur­vived.

Rother­ham edged the first 45 min­utes and they con­tin­ued to look the most likely to break the dead­lock after the in­ter­val.

Wales U21 in­ter­na­tional Lawrence, for­merly of Manch­ester United and now on loan at the New York Sta­dium from Le­ices­ter City, was the stand­out per­former.

His jink­ing run and shot five min­utes after the break had ev­ery­one on their feet but David Mar­shall was equal to it with a smart block.

Lawrence’s team-mate Em­manuel Ledesma, on loan from Cham­pi­onship ri­vals Mid­dles­brough, also caused Cardiff plenty of prob­lems in the sec­ond half.

The Ar­gen­tine whipped a dan­ger­ous free-kick into the side-net­ting and forced Mar­shall into a fine save, div­ing low to his left on 69 min­utes.

A list­less Cardiff failed to cre­ate a clear-cut open­ing un­til the fi­nal 20 min­utes of the match.

Aron Gun­nars­son’s de­ter­mined block put sub­sti­tute Fed­erico Macheda through oneon-one with Adam Collin and the vis­it­ing goal­keeper pro­duced a won­der­ful fin­ger­tip save to keep his side on level terms.

A point was the least the vis­i­tors de­served and Millers boss Evans ar­gued that his team’s new pass­ing style should have earned them all three.

“We did more than work hard,” said Evans. “I think we played some su­per foot­ball.

“The pass­ing and move­ment was ex­cep­tional. Cardiff is a big foot­ball club with great tra­di­tions, just down from the Premier League, but we go away dis­ap­pointed not to have taken three points.

“We’ve changed our style a bit and we’ve given th­ese young lads a li­cence to come into this di­vi­sion and embrace it and pass and move the ball.

“It started last week against Black­pool but we stepped it up another level and it’s ev­i­dent that it’s work­ing.”

“Tom [Lawrence] was un­playable in the first half. If he keeps play­ing like that Nigel Pear­son will want him in the side in Jan­uary. He showed he should be play­ing at the top level.”

WAVED AWAY: Rother­ham see their penalty ap­peal ig­nored by ref­eree Andy D’Urso

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

CLASS ABOVE: Rother­ham’s Tom Lawrence runs at the Cardiff de­fence

STAR MAN TOM LAWRE

NCE Rotherh

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