Swansea and Cardiff Looking For Sparks Ahead of Derby Day Shoot-Out

Here’s a concerning statistic if you’re a neutral Welsh football fan hoping both of the country’s biggest clubs would have a crack at promotion to the Premier League this season.

When Cardiff City host Swansea City in next week’s first Welsh derby, they will have a combined total of just one win in 10 matches.

Of course, it’s still very early days to be writing anyone off and both clubs have undergone major squad rebuilding that will take time to settle.

But both head coaches were left frustrated at the weekend as they threw away winning positions and ended up losing.


Swansea head coach Michael Duff is still looking for a first league win after five games and his team sit in 22nd spot, two points adrift of the safety zone.

The former Barnsley boss accused his team of being “pedestrian” in their 2-1 home defeat to Bristol City and suggested the problems pre-date his arrival this summer.

He said: “I thought we were poor. I thought we were slow, we were pedestrian, with and without the ball and we didn’t do the basics well enough.

“We started the game well on the front foot, went 1-0 up but then went passive. We gave two poor goals away.

“It’s a difficult game if you don’t do the basics properly. We didn’t get on the front foot at all, we weren’t aggressive enough.

“It happened in the last couple of years, it’s happened with us [new coaching staff] so we need to address it.”

Liam Cullen’s first goal of the season gave Duff hope that he would be celebrating his maiden league win as Swansea manager.

But Bristol City created a host of chances and had three goals disallowed before being ultimately rewarded by second-half strikes from Mark Sykes and Sam Bell.


It was the same story for Cardiff City manager Erol Bulut, whose team went 2-0 up away at Ipswich Town, but finished as 3-2 losers.

Cardiff have picked up just one victory from their opening five matches, but that is one more than rivals Swansea.

“In the second half, some of my players were not involved in the game,” was the blunt and damning assessment of Bulut after the game.

“If you cannot keep the ball, you get pressure. I think the break now will be good for us to analyse our issues defensively.

“We could not manage to keep the opponent from our goal. Everybody has to be 100 per cent. We know we have a lot of positive things in our game, but we have to be more aggressive.

The Bluebirds led 2-0 through midfielder Aaron Ramsey and skipper Joe Ralls.

But the Tractor Boys came back strongly, dominating the second half thanks to goals from Wales international Nathan Broadhead and two from substitute Freddie Ladapo.


Newport County are still in the League Two top six places after they battled back to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Wimbledon, having been 2-0 down.

Will Evans and Omar Bogle rescued the point after they had trailed to two goals from the Dons’ James Tilley.

Newport boss Graham Coughlan said: “It was a really, really tough afternoon and look, I’ve got to take my hat off to Wimbledon as well.

“I think the four goals were down to the midweek excursions of two teams that went toe-to-toe with Premier League teams (in the EFL Cup).”

Wrexham moved up to 13th place in the table after Aaron Hayden’s header gave them a 1-0 win at Tranmere Rovers.

Manager Phil Parkinson said: “I think 1-0 wins are important because they show a resilience and I thought we’ve dug deep today when we had to, and we pushed ourselves that extra yard to make sure we got a result.”