Cardiff City

Why Cardiff City must find consistency if they want to return to the Premier League

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Consistency has slowly crept in lately and it means the Bluebirds are now four points adrift of leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers following their 2-1 loss to Bristol City in the Severnside Derby at Ashton Gate.

The Bluebirds have lost their winning formula in recent weeks and have endured topsy-turvy form. Neil Warnock’s men have recorded wins against both Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town but have also suffered defeats at the hands of Birmingham City and most-recently bristol City as well as drawing 0-0 in a stalemate at the Cardiff City Stadium.

They have lost their winning knack in recent weeks and the Bluebirds dip in form means they have dropped off and in-spite of starting the season strongly, are now placed in third place, four points behind leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Bristol City also means that they have no dropped out of the automatic promotion spots, after Sheffield United took full advantage, defeating Hull City 4-1 at home – Leon Clarke scoring all four of the Blades goals.

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If the Bluebirds want to returned to the destined land, they are going to have to improve on their current form, that’s for sure.

For long periods, Warnock’s men matched Bristol City at Ashton Gate but Omar Bogle’s sending off in the second-half cost them dearly.

It is now essential they get back on track against Brentford at home after the international break, who have been in fine form of their own of late having only lost once in their previous 10 games – winning five, drawing one and losing one.

In their previous encounter Brentford recorded a fine 3-1 home victory over Leeds United at Griffin Park and they’ll be keen to continue that in the Welsh Capital after the international break, make no mistake about that.

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Brentford love to attack and have had the most shots in the Championship this season thus far and there is no doubt that they’ll cause the Bluebirds back-line problems but Warnock will be sure to go into the encounter with a game plan.

A reaction is needed now more than ever. It isn’t a disaster just yet, with the Bluebirds sitting in third place but you do feel if they do keep slipping up, they could continue to fall down the Championship table.

And a win against Brentford could well help to rejuvenate their Premier League challenge, which Warnock alluded to prior to the Championship season kicking off.

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It is clear to see this season that the Bluebirds have fail to really take control of games in a possession sense but at times at Bristol City in their last encounter, it cost them dearly.

According to WhoScored, a site which analyses all football stats, Warnock’s men have had an average of 45.6%, but if they want to challenge for a place in the Premier League, that statistic may have to change.

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The Bluebirds need to show against Brentford what they’re really all about and try to replicate what made them such a fearful to play against at the start of the season, where they brushed aside the likes of Aston Villa and Sheffield United.

This is the best Cardiff City side there has been in quite some time and if they can get it right, they could be onto something special but it is vitally important they don’t get complacent or inconsistent because if they do, it could mean they miss out on a dream return to the Premier League.

(Featured image: Jon Candy)