With the international break over until March, Cardiff City look to bounce back from back to back losses as they take on Huddersfield this Saturday at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The bluebirds come off the back of a challenging away trip to Newcastle, where questionable defending lead to Christian Atsu and Yoann Gouffran goals that sent Cardiff 2-0 down at the half. A Ben Amos save only seeming to limit the damage in a game that looked dead and buried with Newcastle firing on all cylinders.
But Cardiff rallied in the second half and showed the spirit embodied by Warnock – that had been long dormant in South Wales – and gave the league leaders a run for their money in the second half.
A fine Whittingham strike, his 92nd for the club, pulled a goal back which saw a Cardiff resurgence with 14 minutes to go. Then, in the final minutes Sean Morrison was dragged down by Mitrovic in the box, a challenge which Warnock remarked a “nailed on penalty” but the referee disagreed.
The bluebirds somewhat hard done by, an encouraging performance to come close against a team 19 places above them in the league. With more luck and organised defending a point would not have been out of the question.
They will look for a better defensive display when they face Huddersfield, who come into the game having scored half as many goals as Newcastle, 17, the joint bottom in the top half. Encouraging for a City side who have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 10.
Cardiff will look to soak up pressure and hit them on the counter attack, with Junior Hoilett looking optimistic following a slight strain on the weekend. His pace a much-needed outlet, with Warnock reiterating last week how there is “not enough goals in the squad at the moment”. He will be optimistic against Huddersfield, who’ve won 1 of the last 5, with Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward having conceded 5 in the thumping they received at Fulham.
Rickie Lambert looks set to lead the line again, his strength and prowess an asset to hold up play and bring others into the attack which was sorely missed against Wigan. Whittingham and Gunnarsson have been back in form since Warnocks’ arrival and are expected to start. There is no room however for Emyr Huws to line-up against the side in which he made 32 appearances last year, with the Welsh international out of favour and wondering when his chance will come under the new manager.
The previous fixture between the sides saw Cardiff run out 3-2 winners, with Whittingham scoring 2 and Huddersfield striker Nakhi Wells grabbing a consolation, who is expected to start up top for the Terriers. Unbeaten in the last 5 meetings between the two, if the bluebirds can keep it tight at the back they may just get a result against an off-form Huddersfield.