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Jones lauds 'clinical' Bluebirds
Published : 09 Apr 2009 06:43:52Rss feed
Roger Johnson's first-half header set the Bluebirds on their way before strikes from Gavin Rae, Jay Bothroyd and Eddie Johnson sealed the win at Ninian Park. The American striker then went from hero to zero with an injury-time own goal, but the result moves Cardiff above Burnley into fifth place. "We didn't play as well as we are capable of, but our finishing was clinical. That was the highlight of our performance," said Jones "Derby started well. But the second goal knocked the stuffing out of them, and the third one killed them off. "It was important to get maximum points because it was one of our games in hand, and it was a great way to sign off our final floodlit game at Ninian Park. "We're under no illusions we can play a lot better than this - but at this stage of the season, results are all that matter. "All we can do is keep the pressure on the top two and keep the dream alive." Derby dominated the early possession, and it was John Eustace who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute. The hosts failed to deal with Jay McEveley's cross from the left, and Eustace's acrobatic volley forced Stuart Taylor to turn the ball around for a corner. But Johnson's glancing header past Stephen Bywater put Cardiff in front against the run of play on 16 minutes. Peter Whittingham floated a fine free-kick in from the right, which allowed centre-back Johnson to rise highest to score his fifth goal of the season. Eustace again came closest for Derby after the interval, before the hosts doubled their advantage when Rae scored his first goal of the season on 61 minutes after latching on to McPhail's pass to round Bywater. Cardiff grabbed a third goal just two minutes later when Bothroyd prodded Whittingham's corner home. Derby's woes continued with just 11 minutes remaining as the hosts added a fourth. Johnson sealed the victory, breaking clean through before coolly slotting the ball past Bywater from the edge of the area. But Derby added a late consolation in injury time when Johnson miscued into his own net from Teale's left-wing corner. Derby boss Nigel Clough concluded: "We lost because Cardiff's two central defenders were outstanding and our defence wasn't. "We have looked good going forward in the last three months - but not defensively. It's disappointing, and we have to improve."