Lacklustre and frustrating

05 March 2012 09:02
City were beaten 2 nil at home by West Ham yesterday eliminating any lingering hopes of an automatic promotion push.

A top two finish would have always been a long shot but being just 5 points behind West Ham would have kept it a reality. Now we are 11 points behind the Hammers we can forget that and focus now on a top six finish.

The current form is worrying though and it will need to be addressed if we are to keep ourselves in the hunt.

Yesterday's defeat left City in 8th place and facing a crucial game at Brighton on Wednesday. If results go against us in the midweek games we could find ourselves in 9th place and five points adrift of the play off paces. That shows just how poor our form has been over recent weeks. Just six games ago we were third, 4 points off top spot and seven points clear of 7th.

West Ham yesterday were able to contain and frustrate Cardiff who struggled to find any flair to their play. They did hit the woodwork twice and saw shots from Miller and Gunnarsson go close, the pattern of play though was the City would huff and puff before West Ham would take the ball off them.

The goals scored by the visitors were results of poor defending, City giving away possession and not be strong enough in the tackle.

On another day City could have won the game 2 nil, if West Ham hadn't taken the two chances that fell in front of them and Whittingham's free kick had gone in rather than hitting the post and likewise Miller's header had gone in not hit the bar.

The general feel though was that Cardiff were struggling. West Ham were coping and they looked the side who would be challenging for promotion, not Cardiff.

What happened yesterday is slight irrelevant now. It's what is going to happen that matters.

I think Malky Mackay needs to freshen up his side. Only one sub used yesterday when most of the players on the pitch played the full marathon against Liverpool.

We lost Gestede though injury early on against West Ham and I think his replacement, Vuckic, showed some promise but we looked lightweight in attack. There was no place for Earnshaw in the squad.

Maybe time to throw the young kid Kadeem Harris into the side, just to give us pace and an element of surprise when we face a very competent Brighton side at Falmer on Wednesday.