The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

CARDIFF were nowhere near the play-offs last sea­son. In fact, they spent most of the cam­paign look­ing like May couldn’t come soon enough.

So it’s great to see them bub­bling un­der Rus­sell Slade. As I said in these pages last sea­son, Russ is a great man-man­ager whose big­gest strength is talk­ing to play­ers.

You don’t go through his drills think­ing ‘Wow, this guy must have an A-Li­cence’. He isn’t par­tic­u­larly in­no­va­tive.

But he keeps things sim­ple, gives you belief and, in the lower leagues where money is a bit scarcer, that’s in­valu­able.

I re­mem­ber work­ing with Craig Davies at Brighton. He couldn’t hit a barn door. But he moved to Ch­ester- field, Paul Cook got the best out of him and he scored 20-odd goals. All of a sud­den, he was get­ting Wales call-ups and moves to Bolton. If you’d told me that when he was at Brighton, I’d have said ‘Never in a mil­lion years’.

That was all about con­fi­dence. At this level, man­agers need to be mo­ti­va­tors as much as coaches and there aren’t many bet­ter than Rus­sell.

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