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Why are the supporters deserting Cardiff City?

14 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Why are the supporters deserting Cardiff City?

The Bluebirds are unbeaten and second in the table, but attendees are dropping every week - how can Russell Slade get the fans excited?

By Joe Mewis

Happily nestled in the Championship automatic promotion spots and unbeaten after six games, Cardiff City fans should be feeling pretty good about themselves.

So why have attendances at Cardiff City Stadium dropped following every game so far this season?

Just seven days after an expectant 32,653 Wales fans packed out the same stadium expecting their national side to get the win they needed to book their place at Euro 2016, only 13,715 Bluebird fans – a 12 per cent drop from the opening day draw with Fulham – bothered to turn up to watch Russell Slade’s side take on bottom-feeders Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

It would turn out that, away from the City faithful, the prospect of watching Kenwyne Jones do his best battering ram impression for 90 minutes doesn’t get the locals’ pulses racing.

Slade’s side appear to have mastered the art of winning ugly so far this season, with Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Terriers no exception.

A largely attritional contest turned on the second-half introduction of Newcastle loanee Sammy Ameobi, who finally injected some urgency after a torrid 59 minutes of football.

Shola’s little brother undoubtedly benefited from Jones’ doing the dirty work and grinding down and tiring the Town defence, as he played a crucial part in both Anthony Pilkington and Joe Mason’s goals, which begs the question of whether or not to start the 23-year-old against Hull on Tuesday evening.

After all, this could be a good way to re-energise the home crowd. Steve Bruce’s side have been woeful on their travels of late, winning only once in their previous 12 away games, stretching back to last year’s Premier league relegation campaign.

In fact, how to use Ameobi will be a pressing issue for Slade to address as the Bluebird’s enter a period that could define their season.

The Bluebird’s boss is well aware that he shouldn’t be getting too excited at this stage of the season – “let’s see where we are after 12 games, that’s when things start to settle down” – he said following Saturday’s three-point haul.

But another win here would cement City’s place in the top two and may well arrest the decline in attendances in the Welsh capital, although what Slade really needs is another playmaker to spice things up if they are to trouble the promotion spots at the end of the season.

Worryingly for the Bluebird fans who do turn up on Tuesday, it is unlikely Hull will provide much entertainment either.

Performance-wise, Steve Bruce’s side are also very much in the winning ugly camp, with the Tigers’ on-field showings belittling their squad’s obvious talents.

Steve Bruce’s body language told as much at the end of Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Brighton, as he cut a frustrated figure on the sideline, knowing that his charges have another long away day coming up.

It may well take a creative spark to settle the game on Tuesday night – but which boss will be brave enough to abandon their dogmatic approach in south Wales?

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