Sammy rides to the res­cue

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matt Lloyd

SAMMY Ameobi stepped off the bench to in­spire Cardiff City to their third win in a row – but boss Rus­sell Slade played down pre­ma­ture pro­mo­tion talk.

Slade had ear­lier turned to Ameobi to help the Bluebirds turn pos­ses­sion into goals, de­spite hos side dom­i­nat­ing visi­tors Hud­der­s­field.

And the striker, on loan from New­cas­tle United for the sea­son, did just that with a hand in both goals.

His pace and vi­sion set up An­thony Pilk­ing­ton to fi­nally break the dead­lock on 69 min­utes.

And just eight min­utes later, it was his pass that was flicked on by Pilk­ing­ton to Joe Ma­son for Cardiff’s sec­ond.

Slade said:“The im­pact Sammy made was ex­cel­lent and he had a hand in get­ting us the goals.

“But I think there’s also more to come from him as he gets stronger and fit­ter. There are goals in him as we saw against Wolves.”

Some may scoff at pro­mo­tion talk so early in the sea­son, es­pe­cially af­ter the sham­bles be­hind the scenes at Cardiff City in the past two years.

But this is cer­tainly pro­mo­tion form and the first time they have won three games in a row since win­ning the Cham­pi­onship three sea­sons ago.

Slade said: “Let’s see where we are af­ter 12 games be­cause that’s when you’ve got a quar­ter of your games out of the way and things start to set­tle down.

“But we’re clearly pleased with three wins and three draws at the start of the sea­son.

“It took a while to get some el­e­ment of con­trol of this game against res­o­lute op­po­si­tion.

“It was im­por­tant to stay with it be­cause the first goal was al­ways go­ing to be cru­cial and the tim­ing was good as well. Af­ter that we set­tled down and were com­fort­able enough.

“At times we were a bit sloppy and the fine de­tail was not quite where we have been in re­cent weeks but we had enough belief to get the re­sult.

“We are look­ing solid and dif­fi­cult to break down as well as cre­at­ing chances.”

In stark con­trast, Chris Pow­ell’s Hud­der­s­field are still look­ing for their first suc­cess in what looks set to be a long sea­son.

Af­ter a lack­lus­tre first 45 min­utes, the sec­ond half proved far more en­ter­tain­ing.

Ameobi took over and turned the game with a hand in both goals be­fore go­ing close to scor­ing a third him­self.

But Pow­ell was fu­ri­ous that Harry Bunn was not awarded a penalty less than 60 sec­onds be­fore Cardiff took the lead when he was felled by Matthew Con­nolly’s chal­lenge in­side the box.

Pow­ell said: “That was the turn- ing point in the game. Be­fore that we dom­i­nated the first pe­riod but failed to find the fi­nal prod­uct.

“It pe­tered out in the sec­ond half but we felt that was a penalty straight away.

“If the de­fender had got the ball then it would have de­vi­ated but the ball con­tin­ues along the same line.

“Then you’re talk­ing 1-0 to us in­stead of 1-0 down just sec­onds later and then we’re chas­ing the game.

“That’s just the way it’s go­ing for us right now and we just have to keep our heads down, brush this off and keep work­ing be­cause even­tu­ally things will turn around for us.

“It’s not the start to the sea­son that we wanted but, to be fair, we’ve had to deal with a lot of play­ers com­ing and go­ing and we’re try­ing to gel as a team as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

BREAK­ING THE DEAD­LOCK: Cardiff City’s An­thony Pilk­ing­ton fires in the Bluebirds’ open­ing goal on 69 min­utes

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