The Bulut Train Rides On As Erol Takes Cardiff City Up To Seventh

The transformation of Cardiff City continues with the club now up to seventh place in the Championship table.

Manager Erol Bulut believes his players are reaping the rewards for their hard work after they climbed to the fringes of the play-off spots.

The Bluebirds snatched a 1-0 win at Sunderland to make it three successive victories for Bulut after maximum points were taken off Swansea City and Coventry City.

“When we look at the start of the season, we were leading in a few games but losing them, and lost points,” said Bulut.

“Against the ball we didn’t work very well; there were some individual mistakes, and the concentration was not how I liked it. We have trained really hard on that, and today was great.

“Sunderland have a really good team. For me, with the ball they are one of the best teams in the Championship.

“They have real quality, good young players. Of course, for us it was not easy to get the victory, because we have seen them dominate their last games.

“But today, we showed fighting spirit. I said to my players before the game in the dressing room, they will need fighting spirit and winning spirit.”

Former Sunderland academy player Jak Alnwick kept his old club at bay before Mark McGuinness headed home a late winner.

With three minutes remaining, centre-back McGuinness headed in the only goal of the game to make it four wins from five for the Bluebirds.



Swansea City are also finally up and running under head coach Michael Duff who gained his first win in the Championship since joining the club in the summer.

A convincing 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday lifted the Swans out of the relegation zone and ended their longest winless League start since 1991.

“I have to say I was really pleased with the supporters,” said Duff, whose team moved up to 21st place in the table, a point above the drop zone.

“We asked them to come and support the team and at 0-0 when a couple of passes went astray, there was no negativity in the ground. That doesn’t half help the players.

“We had a moment in the second half where you think are we going to sit in again [after going ahead], but they didn’t.

“We had a bit of luck with the crossbar but once the second goal went in, you could feel the whole stadium – it was more of a sigh than a celebration because everyone’s been feeling it. Everyone wants to do well.

“The two over-riding emotions are pride and relief. I was proud of the players, the way they stuck together.”



But whilst it was a good weekend for both Welsh Championship clubs, it was a poor one for the pair battling to be among the promotion candidates in League Two.

Isaac Olaofe’s hat-trick gave Stockport an emphatic 5-0 win to end Wrexham’s seven-match unbeaten run.

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson said: “It’s as bad a first half as I can remember us playing, in terms of all the fundamentals in football. They were sharper and quicker than us.

“So many times, we gave the ball away cheaply in the back third and middle third and put ourselves under pressure.

“Today we were sloppy in everything we did, and we’ve got to take our medicine.”



Just as unhappy with his team was Newport County manager Graham Coughlan, whose side crashed to a 4-1 home defeat to Bradford City at Rodney Parade.

Andy Cook scored a hat-trick for Bradford, who are managed by former Wales boss Mark Hughes.

“We were poor and the first half an hour was terrible. The goals that we conceded were unacceptable and it was a really bad day for us all,” said Coughlan.

“I feel for the supporters because the players left them short today, so I am really annoyed and frustrated.”

“I don’t want to stand here and make excuses, but we have a patched-up side at the moment and I need to get players fit and healthy. I need one or two back, otherwise we will continue to labour and limp along.”