Erol Bulut Bids For Statement Win Over Leeds United

Cardiff City can settle some short term issues this weekend, even though the long-term future of manager Erol Bulut has become uncertain.

The Bluebirds are currently ninth in the Championship but sit only three points adrift of the play-off places.

On Saturday, they welcome Leeds United, who are fourth, and nothing would underline the realistic claims of a push for promotion in the Welsh capital more than to bring down one of the major clubs in the division.

Bulut has recovered from a virus and now wants to concentrate on the health of his team, who have been inconsistent in recent weeks.

“Of course, it will be a tough game against Leeds,” says Bulut.

“We know about their quality. But, of course, we will not hide on Saturday. We will try to give our best on Saturday on the field to get points.

“The first game in Leeds was a good game for us. We had a good start over there, we could have won. We lost two points in the 96th minute, but this is football. Saturday will be a different game.”

Bulut has done an impressive job since he arrived at the club last summer – turning a team which had flirted with relegation struggles into one pressing hard at the top end of the table.

But the Turkish boss only signed a one-year deal and has admitted there have so far been no negotiations with the club over an extension.

“I said I’m happy here. I think the fans know that because we’ve had many times meetings together,” he added.

“I’d like to continue to make changes here, work together. We can make many changes, add many things to the club.

“For that to work, we need a plan. To make a plan work, we need to work together. My contract ends at the end of the season. We’ve not had any talks yet. It’s not up to me.”


Stable Swans

Swansea City have gone through their own period of managerial upheaval in recent weeks before bringing in Luke Williams from Notts County.

Williams has guided the Swans safely into the fourth round of the FA Cup in his only match in charge so far, but on Saturday he will get an opportunity to make his mark in the Championship with a visit to Birmingham City.

Blues have gone through their own turmoil after sacking Wayne Rooney and this will be a first game in charge for their new boss, the hugely experienced Tony Mowbray.

One of the failings of the brief Swans era under former head coach Michael Duff, was the lack of connection between team, head coach and fans, something that had previously been a strength at the club.

Williams – who has vowed to bring a more familiar flowing passing style back to the club – says repairing that bond is a major priority.

“When the team play in a certain way that excites people and it makes them feel emotional, that is when those connections are made,” he says.

“When you have a team that is positive and wants to score a lot of goals, and a team that has players working hard for each other, making big recovery runs and hunting for the ball, it gives a real energy.

“I believe when people see and feel that, it is very powerful.

“I remember from my first time here, beating Cardiff 3-0, and the way we played. When you do that, it’s impossible not to connect with the supporters.”


Parkinson on the look-out

Wrexham certainly have that connection and will be hoping to further strengthen it by beating AFC Wimbledon at The Racecourse.

With both Stockport and Mansfield having lost in their last match, there is the possibility of Wrexham going top of League Two if they win and their rivals again slip up.

Parkinson, though, still wants to bring in some new players in the January transfer window.

He says: “We’ve got a good squad, we’ve got a great spirit, we’ve got players coming back from injury. But is there someone out there we feel can improve that? If there is, can we get a deal done?

“Plates are spinning as always, conversations have been had but at the moment [there’s] nothing imminent.”


Newport nervy

The plates are also spinning for Newport County boss Graham Coughlan, but his priority is to prevent players from leaving.

“We have had one or two inquiries for our players which we have put the phone down on,” says Coughlan, who takes his team to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

“We want to keep the players, we don’t want to move them on.”