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View From The Town End - Cardiff

The always brilliant Simon Richards once again shares his views on Cardiff, what he expects from today's game, and the rest of the season.

There’s something terribly inevitable about Christmas time. From the sellotape mysteriously disappearing and then reappearing as soon as you get back from the shop to the cost of Christmas dinner putting the  GDP of a small country into the shade. Inevitability is merely nothing more than re-walking a well-trodden path and noticing the similarities. And we’ve all been down this path before.

And so it is that Cardiff and Reading are once again on route to meet each other with promotion squarely on the line. There’s something rather inevitable about the championship, which given its chaotic and unpredictable nature may seem a strange thing to say. But I believe that the 2 losing finalist from the previous 2 seasons will meet in a barnstorming encounter at Wembley come May and today’s encounter will act as nothing more than a mouthwatering gauge that commentators on sky will use when the teams meet at the seasons close.

I get the feeling our destinies this season will be entwined till the very end. Sure we don’t have much in common – you’re sponsored by an upmarket supermarket chain while even Aldi wouldn’t sponsor us, but you get that feeling that we will mentioned in the same paragraph across the red tops again this season.

As a sign of solidarity I bought this year’s Turkey from Waitrose. £60 quid for a bird? I’ll get a Bernard Mathews next year.

 

We spoke to you a few weeks back when you were rocketing up the table, has the general mood changed at all amongst the fans?

We’re all still very surprised and shocked at how well this season has gone. 1 defeat in the last 14 games has seen us very handily placed in the play off zone.

Interestingly we have 2 more points  than last seasons star laced team had at this stage last year and a better goal difference.

We’re the second hardest team to beat in the division – the toughest 2 sides to beat on New Year’s Eve over the past decade have normally gone up, 16 out of the last 20 indeed.

We’ve kept a clean sheet in 37.5% of games this season, the average for promoted sides is 38.5%.

We are well placed for a real shot at getting to the promosed land, much better placed than we have ever been. All this is based on a solid defence and PASSSHUNNNN.

Malky is becoming a minor diety in Cardiff and should we gain promotion then Christmas will be moved to the 19th Febuary.

Do you foresee any major ins or outs during the January transfer window?West Ham have had a £3 Mill bid for Whittingham turned down and more will undoubtedly follow. I don’t think he will leave as his importance to the team is complete and absolute.

If you listen to certain quarters then we will be signing Kebe in the next 4 weeks though I’m not sure why he would bother moving sideways across the M4 to us.

Luckily Malky does his business behind firmly bolted doors, and even the self-proclaimed ‘Fans Leader’ is left to make empty prophecies online.

But we do need pace on the wings and a second striker to back up our canny Scotsmen upfront.

This is your third season in your new stadium, have fans taken to the place yet or do they still yearn for Ninian Park?

I sat in Ninian Park when we finished second from bottom of the entire football league, among a couple of thousand hardy souls. While we had great moments there, mainly in the cup, when the atmosphere was incredible they were few and far between. A number of our fans tend to look back through rose tinted glasses and remember only the special occasions that occoured once every 3-4 seasons.

Nowadays we have huge games every couple of weeks.  The atmosphere can be a little dreary at times but it can also be superb on occasion.

We currently fill 85.5% of the stadium – joint top of the whole league so the fans must be enjoying something about the place.

Half the season's gone now, who are you tipping for the top two and who will be playing at Wembley come May?

What a difficult question. Big Sam will probably sign up half of the players in the UK in the next month to bolster his squad past the thousand level – they will challenge whilst ‘Boro are incredibly hard to beat.

I can’t imagine Southampton keeping up their pace for the whole season and Cardiff and Reading will certainly be up there.

We will meet each other in Wembley.

Who's the Cardiff player Reading fans should watch out for?

The obvious answer would be either the mercurial Peter Whittingham or goal scoring Scot Kenny Miller but I’ll go for defender Ben Turner.

The former Coventry defender is exactly what we’ve been missing for years. A huge hulking centre back who has great distribution and a knack for scoring goals he’s one of the main reasons that Cardiff have let so few goals in.

Anybody in the Reading team caught your eye in the past few weeks?

Anyone with bloody pace that runs at our full backs. Do you remember when you saw Porky’s as a 13 yr old? – you thought it was amazing – however next time you saw it you thought it was guff and wondered what all the fuss was about.

Well Kebe is the same with us Cardiff fans. He took our left back apart once last season and therefore strikes fear into every Cardiff fan’s heart. Though I believe that he has been rather disappointing this term.

Any tips for travelling Reading fans?

Enjoy the playstations in the away end – how come us in the home don’t have them? Eat before you get there – try the Greggs over the road and enjoy your day.
Score predicition?

Come on 2-0 to Cardiff – Whittingham and Mason.

But in all honesty got to be a draw – With Miller scoring at 5:10

Thanks again to Simon and you can follow him on Twitter @SJRichards79