In this week's View From The Town End, we pick the Brains of Cardiff fan Daniel Lewis to see what he's expecting in tomorrow's game between Reading and Cardiff at Madejski Stadium.
How would you sum up Cardiff's season so far?
It has been a very strange season in many ways, containing lots of ups and downs. Around the time we last met in November, the campaign looked to be heading in an identical position to the last one - mediocre in the extreme. I'm not sure how exactly it happened, but finally things have started to click under Russell Slade over the past few months and supporters are now - at last - singing from the same hymn sheet. It has certainly been far more enjoyable compared to last season, and the manager deserves huge praise for that.
You've slowly crept up into play-off contention, is this a team capable of winning them?
Cardiff are certainly no strangers to a play-off battle, having been involved heavily in the years leading up to our eventual promotion in 2013. This season in very similar to Malky Mackay's first at the club, though, in a sense that fans are not all that confident we can go all the way. Reaching the top six alone would be some achievement, in my opinion, but whether we could then pick up a few more positive results at the end is a different matter entirely. City certainly have momentum on their side at the moment, which is so often the key factor, but winning back-to-back games has been extremely tough this season.
How's the ownership situation these days? We don't seem to hear as much about Vincent Tan....
Mr. Tan being kept out of the spotlight is usually a good thing for all involved, in truth. The past 12 months have seen the club take a huge step in repairing what was a damaged relationship with supporters. The truth is many thousands of fans no longer attend games, but there is certainly a sense of the old Cardiff returning of late. It all started with the return to blue last year, of course, followed by Tan's recent announcement that he intends to turn his debt into equity as well as finally writing off a long-term loan hanging over the club's head. Many will never forgive him, though he does deserve just a little praise for learning his lesson and seemingly wanting to put things right in the long term.
Who should Reading fans be wary of on Saturday?
Cardiff may have been hit with an embargo in January, yet the irony is the best transfer window of Slade's tenure to date came earlier this year when being forced to bring in a few loan faces. Tony Watt looked a real gem when coming in from Charlton Athletic, but he has since departed - as a result of the embargo - to be replaced by Tom Lawrence and Lex Immers. Lawrence has done well so far, although he was unfairly dropped last time out, while Immers already looks like a cult hero in the making thanks to his tireless running. He was a regular for Feyenoord up until recently, too, so he can more than cut it at this level - as proved in his eight appearances to date. That said, one thing has remained constant over the past few years - David Marshall remains the finest goalkeeper in the division and is the Bluebirds' star asset.
Anyone from Reading you're not looking forward to facing?
I remember picking out Nick Blackman four months ago for the return fixture, at a time when Reading looked real candidates to challenge not only for a top-six berth but also automatic promotion, but he has obviously since moved on. I watched the Palace cup tie last week and a couple of players looked impressive; the Welsh international heroes in the side particularly standing out for obvious reasons. Hal Robson-Kanu in particular has looked impressive in the handful of games I've seen this season, with a move to Swansea or Southampton rumoured to be in the pipeline. Oliver Norwood is another to keep an eye on simply for his ability to score from seemingly anywhere on the field, albeit less consistently that our man Peter Whittingham!
Goalless draws used to be the default prediction to give, but goals are not so hard to come by these days when Cardiff are involved. Reading look far better at home compared to away but, what is essentially a derby fixture for City supporters due to the close proximity between the sides (in context), I'm going to back a 2-1 away win. That rest in midweek may just be the telling difference.
Thanks again to Dan and you can follow him on Twitter @Daniel_Lewis92