Cardiff Manager Dave Jones Tries Mind Games
Thursday, 28th Apr 2011 15:48
The coming Bank Holiday Monday fixtures couldn't have been scripted better all those months ago last year, but they have certainly produced an entertainment factor that will draw interest from just about the whole football scene in England, and Wales for those that follow the round ball version of football.
As for Sky television, what an opportunity to increase advertising revenue and fill the spaces twice over. When the powers that be wrote the schedule for televised games, who, in their right mind, could have forseen just how much interest will be riding on the outcome, thus pushing potential audience figures to the lofy heights expected for the Royal Wedding.
The Saturday fixtures are sure to raise the hopes of many supporters of clubs such as Swansea and Reading. Swansea in particular. There is a very real likelihood that the team that finishes in third place might just end up qualifying for automatic promotion; for, let's not forget, QPR is facing very serious charges indeed. Managed by the same person that spat his dummy out when West Ham were not deducted points for similarly serious charges.
Should that happen, of course, the club that finishes in seventh will be included in the draw for the play off places. That means everybody down as far as tenth place, Hull, then Leeds, Burnley and Milwall, each has a mathematical chance.
So it is hardly any wonder that the results on Monday might set the seal for one club, at least.
Dave Jones, manager at Cardiff City, has additional pressures on him, as discussed in an earlier article regarding Cardiff's huge financial gamble on Premiership football next season.
Conscious of that pressure, and conscious of his players showing the pressure, Jones the Whinge is trying to inflict the psychological burden on Norwich City. Good luck to him. Betther managers have tried, and failed. Ask Adie Boothroyd when Norwich went to Colchester intent on wreaking revenge for their earlier 7-1 defeat last season.
And nobody has truly succeeded at this level, although Swansea's Brendan Rogers might think he did it.
The pressure will not get to Norwich. The players will approach the game as Paul Lambert has hammered into them to approach every other game. You cannot influence how other teams may play, so go out and give it your very best shot. You have managed to get this far, it is up to you to finish what you started.
So the real pressure is on Cardiff. They know that Norwich has one of the better away records in the game. They know that even man marking the so-called "danger men" does not stop somebody getting through for a shot on goal. They know that almost every outfielder at Norwich has scored at least once.
And they know, as does every other football fan in the land, that Norwich never accepts defeat. Right down until the referee blows up to end the game Norwich players will be attacking their opponent's goal.
No, Mr Jones. Try as you might, you will not influence Norwich City players. Only one man can do that, and there is only one Pual Lambert.
Photo: Action Images
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