Here are your Cardiff City headlines for Tuesday, May 10.
Morison: I want to change the narrative of Cardiff City
Steve Morison insists he wants to “change the narrative” around what a Cardiff City side looks like with his transfer business this summer. The Bluebirds are set for a major squad overhaul and could sign as many as 15 players in the off-season. Some of that business has already been done, according to the manager.
“We have done lots of good work, got lots of stuff over the line already,” he told the latest episode of the BBC’s EJFOF. “Just got to wait until the time we are allowed to release stuff. Once all registered and signed, the season’s over, the window opens. Everyone here knows if they are getting a contract or not.
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“We are all clear and concise about what we want to do and hopefully we get it all done.”
What that means, Morison says, is building a squad which can be adaptable and moulded to suit different styles and, importantly, not require more upheaval if a different manager is employed further down the line.
He added: “We will try and do as many permanent transfers as we can, the majority will be free transfers. We will use the loan market to add those bits to it if we need it, because you can handpick that a bit more from what you can’t get, free transfer-wise.
“I don’t see this as me going and picking the team I want. This is me working in collaboration with the club into the way we want this football club to go; more sustainable, attractive, a place where people want to come and play football.
“We don’t want to get bogged down with the same old narrative every week of ‘Oh they are just a physical team’ and it’s just the same every single week. It’s a collaborative approach from the top down. We need to give the academy a platform to be able to bring players through because we are playing in a way that allows the players to come through.
“The recruitment team and the analysis they are putting into players so that within a playing style we are creating, we can go and pick players based on what the club are trying to do. We need to get away from, ‘Well they are the 10 players I like, I’ll go and pick them.’ When that manager leaves, the next manager comes in and they are left with all that again. It’s just that continuous cycle of the next manager coming in, gets judged on a group of players who are not his or not fit for purpose for what he wants to do.
“So if you have a group of players that are fit for purpose and can do lots of different things. If it’s me, hopefully for years, or someone else comes in further down the line, they can look at it and go, ‘I can work with that, I can do what I want’. Also, the club going forward will bring people in to manage the club that are going to carry on the process and not come in and rip it all up. We have to have a club approach rather than a manager approach to it.”
Rovers should look to ‘lure’ Connolly back
Bristol Rovers should try to lure James Connolly back to the Gas this summer, according to our colleague Sam Frost at Bristol Live.
Joey Barton’s side have enjoyed a stunning end to the season, sealing promotion to League One on goals scored after thrashing Scunthorpe United 7-0 at the Memorial Stadium, overcoming a five-goal swing.
Cardiff loanee Connolly has been a vital part of the Gas’ resurgence in the latter half of the season and Bristol Live’s Rovers correspondent certainly agrees.
In a Q&A with fans, Sam was asked which moment saw the season turn around and he replied: “There have been so many, that it’s a bit simplistic to say the season turned on one moment, but I think January transfer window was the biggest.
“In that month, Barton went a long way to fixing a leaky defence with the signing of James Connolly. What a bit of business that has turned out to be.”
The 21-year-old defender, who captained Cardiff’s under-23s under Steve Morison at the beginning of the season, is out of contract next month. While it is as yet unknown if he will stick around, Sam believes the Bluebirds will want to have him back this summer.
“Connolly is out of contract at Cardiff, but they will want to keep him after such a good loan spell,” he added. “If he doesn’t renew, Rovers would have to pay compensation as he is an under-24 player.
“Centre-back is an area of priority [in the transfer window] with Rovers’ starters in that area belonging to other clubs. Either they will need to lure [Connor] Taylor and Connolly back or they will have to rebuild in that position.”
Warnock: Interesting summer ahead of Cardiff
Cardiff City won’t be able to build back with just a group of kids and will have to sign some experienced pros this summer, Neil Warnock has said.
The former Bluebirds boss has been promoting his show, Are You With Me , which comes to St David’s Hall in September, and sat down with Gist Vile to talk all things Cardiff, which you can read here.
During our chat, Warnock said he was confident Cardiff would fight back after a disappointing season, although he understands the task at hand in the transfer window this summer.
“It’s a typical footballing hotbed. It’ll come back,” he told Gist Vile. “I don’t know how long it will take, it’ll be interesting. It’s a busy time for them, recruitment-wise. They have to get it right, they can’t just have young lads, there has to be a mixture.
“It’s going to be a big couple of weeks down here in Cardiff. It looks like they are going to need six or seven players. Hopefully he will get one or two good pros in as well. I just want them to do well. It’ll take time, the finances are not there, so it is going to be difficult.
“But I think Steve [Morison] will have had a good time to look at what he needs and hopefully his recruitment will be good. It’ll be interesting to look at it from afar.”
Oumar Niasse leaves Burton
Another chapter of Oumar Niasse’s career is over after Burton Albion boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink confirmed the striker would not be offered a new deal.
The former Cardiff City loan player, who failed to score in 13 games for the Bluebirds, was signed by the League One club back in February and scored three goals in 12 games for the club. Ex-Cardiff defender John Brayford, who now captains Burton, has been offered a new deal.
“Obviously we will see a few players leave,” said Hasselbaink. “Michael Bostwick was really influential when we stayed up last season and we’ll always remember him for that.
“It hasn’t really worked out for Danny [Rowe] and Aaron [Amadi-Holloway], and we will also be losing Luke and Oumar too.
“John Brayford has played a lot of matches and was missed when he didn’t play. He deserves the player of the season award.”
Bamba leaves Boro
Former Cardiff City hero Sol Bamba has written an emotional message of thanks to Middlesbrough fans after the club confirmed he would not be offered a new contract.
The centre-back was released by the Bluebirds at the end of last season, a decision which stuck in the craw of many City supporters, with Mick McCarthy claiming it was a straight shootout between keeping Bamba or signing Mark McGuinness from Arsenal.
The 37-year-old had just been given the all clear following his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the time, but Bamba insisted he did not want to go out like that after a storied playing career.
Indeed, his old friend Neil Warnock offered him one last chance to play a key role in another challenge up at Boro and it is fair to say the Ivorian has exceeded expectations. He played 29 senior matches for Boro, undertaking a key role under both Warnock and his successor Chris Wilder, and even featured at the business end of the campaign when the Teesside club were fighting to get into those play-off spots.
Their promotion bid ultimately fell short when they failed to squeeze into the top six on the final day of the season. Wilder wasted no time in telling the players which of them would be kept on and who would be leaving and the club announced on Monday that Bamba, along with ex-Cardiff right-back Lee Peltier and Wales international Neil Taylor, would not be offered new deals. Read the full story here.
Watters spotted at MK Dons
Max Watters arrived at his former loan club MK Dons to cheer them on in their play-off semi-final against Wycombe Wanderers on Sunday.
The striker scored seven goals in 14 games before being recalled by Steve Morison in the new year and played a big part in the club’s early-season form. He managed just eight appearances and one goal for Cardiff after returning in January.
But on Sunday he went to support his ex-team-mates, who had to overturn a two-goal deficit at Stadium MK in the second leg of their play-off semi-final, but managed just the 1-0 victory over Wanderers.
Watters is expected to have a greater role in Morison’s side next season.