Cardiff’s best chance yet

Posted on September 13, 2010

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By Tim Harris

UNDEFEATED Cardiff City have enjoyed a flamboyant start to a season poised to be their best promotion opportunity to date.

One of only three teams yet to lose in the Championship, Cardiff have dared the world of football to believe this might be the year that they make the triumphant leap into the Premier League.

Peter Whittingham and Michael Chopra - intrinsic to the promotion bid

The Bluebirds have recorded some wholly satisfying early results, including a 4-0 romping over Doncaster on home soil.

And a large factor that weighs in favour of the Cardiff promotion push, is the lacking quality of the teams who have descended from the Premiership.

Out of the three victims of top flight relegation last year, only Burnley it would seem, have a realistic chance of launching a promotion bid.

Cardiff have already demonstrated this by laying waste to both Portsmouth and Hull City without so much as conceding a goal.

The frailty of Pompey and Hull opens the door for teams that in previous seasons, could only realistically contemplate a playoff finish.

It must have felt like an iron bar above 3rd spot last year; Newcastle and West Brom’s immediate return to the Premiership was a near inevitability.

But this year, Cardiff, among others, have a very accessible chance to seize.

And the sub-standard football on show at Fratton Park and the KC Stadium are not the only reasons for Cardiff fans to bear the faith.

The squad speaks volumes for itself.  If the likes of Peter Whittingham, Michael Chopra, and Jay Bothroyd can produce similar scoring tallies to last season, Cardiff could really be in with a shout.

And in addition to last year’s Bluebird pedigrees, one local lad has come home to lend a hand.

Craig Bellamy’s arrival was greeted with great jubilance in South Wales, (particularly when he netted a majestic freekick on his debut).

Could Bellamy make the difference?

From whatever angle you look at it, Bellamy is a fantastic coup for the club, and he could prove to be the ace in Cardiff’s already very talented hand.

And with the newly built Cardiff City Stadium crying out to lift its curtain on some Premiership football, the odds have begun leaning prominently in the Bluebirds’ favour.

Heartbreaking defeat to Blackpool in May’s playoff final blocked Cardiff from the Premier League this season.

The year before also left a bitter taste in Cardiff mouths after they missed out on a playoff spot to Preston on goals scored.

And the solution is very simple.  I read somewhere that if you finish in the Championship top two, promotion is awarded to you automatically…

The Bluebirds travel to Leicester City tomorrow evening to continue their promotion campaign.  And manager Dave Jones will expect an absolute minimum of three points.

I imagine he will expect the same from the following game, and the game after that.

Dave Jones will demand 110%

Unfortunately, the unbeaten run can’t last forever; defeat has to arrive at some point.  But when it does, it needn’t dampen too many spirits.

After all, the season is a marathon, not a sprint.

And what a feeling it would be to win the marathon.

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