Terry Pierce - Cardiff fans have reason for optimism
Published: 24 May 2010 - 07:57:55
While every Blackpool fan is probably still recovering from Saturday night, Cardiff City supporters must still be wondering what on earth they have to do to win promotion to the Premiership.
Twelve months ago they challenged all season but fell away in spectacular fashion. This year, they secured a play-off spot with room to spare and looked a good bet to go up, particularly after a semi-final first leg win at Leicester.
And, with a little help from Yann Kermongants rush of blood, they went on to secure their spot in the £90 million play-off final after a nerve-wracking penalty shoot.
They were heavy favourites to win the promotion shoot-out. Up against Ian Holloways unlikely bunch of battlers, the class of Micheal Chopra, the power of Jay Bothroyd and the craft of Peter Whittingham should have been enough to see them up.
But a combination of torrid luck losing skipper Bothroyd early to injury and striking the wood-work twice and the dogged determination and ability of their opponents saw City slip to a 3-2 defeat in the glorious early summer sunshine.
Holloway's side fully deserved their win, with Charlie Adam superb in the middle of the park, but there was more than enough in the game to leave the Welsh side rueing their misfortune.
As the City players crumpled to the floor and the Bluebirds fans filed out and on to their trains and buses wondering if it was the last they'd seen of their heroes in the Cardiff blue, their only thoughts would have been those of disappointment, not the club's bright future.
However, Malaysian billionaire Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yiouns consortium is ready to take over from Peter Ridsale and clear the debts.
And the club has a very good set of players and a manager who has tons of experience.
So long as the Malaysian money is spent wisely, and the current group is kept together and added to sensibly, the Bluebirds will be flying high once again next season, and as they get closer and closer every year, the next campaign could finally see City return to the top division.
Lions and Terriers both lack bite
In other news, I went to both legs of the League One play-off semi-final between Swindon and Charlton last weekend, and there was absolutely nothing between two very good sides who went at it for 210 minutes.
I also watched both legs of the other semi-final between Millwall and Huddersfield, and they were the two most disappointing play-off games I can remember.
After their respective performances, I can safely say no one could begrudge either Swindon or Charlton a place in Saturdays final or in the Championship, but its rather more difficult to make a case for the other two.
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- Terry was born and bred in Wiltshire, and is a massive Swindon fan - travelling the length of the country most weekends to watch the 'mighty' Reds. He also manages a successful(ish) Sunday league side, and his life pretty much revolves around football. Five-year-old Terry was in the crowd when Swindon won promotion to the Premier League in 1993 with a 4-3 play-off win against Leicester. He cried after every goal. Read Terry's thoughts every week on life outside the Premier League. Follow Terry on Twitter @telpierce.
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