Neil Harris admits Cardiff are still searching for best form after Derby draw

Cardiff City manager Neil Harris admitted his team are still searching for their best form, but vows they will be a serious force in the division when they hit their straps.

The Bluebirds’ produced a sub-par performance for the most-part against Derby County on Wednesday night, but finished strongly and earned a draw via a second-half Kieffer Moore goal.

City are treading water a little in 14th place in the table after a stuttering start to the campaign, but they are now five games without a loss, showing resilience to come back and earn vital points in recent outings.

It could be that the Bluebirds are suffering from a hangover, having reached the play-off semi-finals against Fulham last term, and have failed to regather that spark which drove them post-lockdown.

But Harris says while the team work their way up to top form, picking up points remains absolutely vital.

“If I’m being honest, we are still searching for that rhythm, that’s how I see it,” Harris said.

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“We are just a couple of points away from where I want us to be and want to get to.

“While we are searching, and the games are coming thick and fast, it’s important we keep the mentality of trying to win games and not losing games and we have done that tonight.

“That’s five unbeaten, yes I’d like to have two or four points on top of that, tonight and we certainly should have been Boro on the weekend, but I have to praise my players for the character they are showing at the moment.

“But when we hit that rhythm, then we are going to win a lot of games.”

On the touchline, Harris was the most boisterous and animated we have seen him all season.

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He was without Harry Wilson, who injured his hip flexor in training on Tuesday, while Lee Tomlin was still not ready. Jordi Osei-Tutu, too, will be out until after the international break owing to a hamstring injury.

But that creativity was certainly lacking for the most part and the manager was screaming his instructions at players all over the pitch, desperate to light that fuse which was so desperately missing.

It must be said, though, Cardiff were much improved after the break and Harris said he tried to reassure his players at half-time and alleviate some of that mounting pressure of expectation bearing down on their shoulders.

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“[We are searching for] A little bit of rhythm in our play, a little bit of belief in some of our players.,” he said

“We had such a good spell in February or March time and then lockdown and coming back, so perhaps a little too much expectation on themselves in the changing room.

“We are so desperate to do well that you put yourself under too much pressure.

“I said that at half-time today, I told them, ‘You are good players, you’ve proven you are good players’.

“There’s so much more to come from the group.”


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