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‘Upset’ Neil Harris aims subtle dig at Nottingham Forest’s ‘wrong’ Albert Adomah decision as Bluebirds fans revel in rivals’ capitulation

Cardiff City manager Neil Harris aimed a subtle dig at Nottingham Forest over the Albert Adomah recall saga after the City Ground outfit missed out on a play-off spot on a dramatic final night of the season.

Sabri Lamouchi’s Forest started the evening three points ahead of Swansea City and with a healthy five-goal goal difference cushion.

But the Swans’ thumping 4-1 win over Reading coupled with Forest’s 4-1 hammering at home to Stoke City saw Lamouchi’s men drop out of the top six for the first time since Boxing Day – in the 91st minute.

It was a frenetic final night of the Championship, but for Cardiff, they took care of their own business.

The Bluebirds needed only a point to secure their place in the play-offs and coolly dispatched Hull City in clinical fashion with a 3-0 victory to claim fifth spot.

All without Albert Adomah, too, a player who had been so consistent for Cardiff City since his loan move on deadline day in January.

It was thought that Adomah, like Dion Sanderson and Brad Smith, would have his loan deal extended until the end of the regular season, given the elongated campaign owing to coronavirus, but it did not prove that straightforward.

Forest, seeking to get a leg-up over their play-off rivals Cardiff City, recalled the Ghana international on June 30, when his original loan deal was meant to expire, in the full knowledge he would be unable to play for Lamouchi’s side.

Harris was furious at the time, believing it went against a gentleman’s agreement between the clubs to see the loan deals completed until the end of the regular season, despite what time constraints had been placed on the original contracts.

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And, following his side’s victory over the Tigers, Harris couldn’t resist a small parting shot.

“Sabri Lamouchi [Forest manager] was manager of the year in the Championship four weeks ago and finished seventh,” he said.

“They stopped us taking Albert Adomah to take an advantage over us.”

He was keen not to stick the boot in too firmly, but he stands by his original feeling of anger and disappointment over the way Forest handled the saga in the first place.

“I don’t think it’s come back to bite them,” Harris added in his post-match press conference. “I only brought it up because I thought it was right to mention it, on Forest as a whole.

“I saw most of you [the media] smirking when I said it, so I’ll leave it to you to write about it.

“It upset me because I thought it was wrong, that’s all.”

Lamouchi had previously said of the matter: “The situation is clear.

“Albert is a Nottingham Forest player. It was a loan and the club is doing the right to call back the players if they want.

“I am not understanding the problem. Cardiff know everything. We are just talking between smart and clever people to do the right thing for everybody and the club. The club decides, not me.”

But Adomah was unable to feature for his parent club: an EFL rule change, voted for by clubs, stipulates players returning from loan at the end of June can only feature for their parent team in certain circumstances, NottinghamshireLive reported, like returning from a competition already curtailed (such as Leagues One and Two) and from a club not involved in play-offs.

Cardiff fans, however, were not so diplomatic in their views on the whole saga compared with Harris.

Bluebirds fans grabbed their phones and laptops and were lightning quick in telling Forest that karma had come round to bite them.

“Hi Nottingham Forest,” Joseph Rose wrote on Twitter. “Can we extend Albert Adomah’s loan now? Especially considering you don’t have anymore games this season. I look forward to hearing from you soon x.”

“At least you recalled Albert Adomah though eh lads? That’ll show us,” Fan account Ninian Opinion replied in response to Forest’s full-time tweet on Wednesday night.

“Thanks to Albert Adomah,” Russell Hallett added. “Superb contribution. Cardiff City in the play-offs. Always be in our hearts Albert. Loved watching you rip it up down that right wing. Always a place in our team if you want to come back.”

Nick Bordes da Silva said: “The soccer Gods are punishing Forest for their treatment of Albert Adomah… Tell me I’m wrong.”

Twitter account Cardiff City Fans weighed in with: “Imagine recalling Albert Adomah, not using him then bottling a 5 goal swing to miss out on the playoffs hahahahaha.”

While Jordan Jones wrote: “Imagine recalling Albert Adomah to try and deter Cardiff’s play-off push and you bottle it in the grandest manner. Sucks to be you Nottingham Forest.”

Adomah, of course, wanted to see out the season with the Bluebirds. He was enjoying his time with the club and had made a big impression on the squad.

City fans also took to him, believing him to have brought a consistency to the wide areas, churning out 7/10 performances most weeks which coincided with a big upturn in the Bluebirds’ results.

But he sat watching as Forest crashed out of the play-offs last night, while Cardiff went from strength to strength to secure their fate.

A penny for his thoughts right now.

...

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