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5 things Neil Harris has actually changed

Discussion in 'Cardiff City Forum' started by Eat Y'self Fitter, 3 Dec 2019.

  1. Eat Y'self Fitter

    Eat Y'self Fitter ⭐ Forum President ⭐
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    The five things new Cardiff City boss Neil Harris has actually changed to turn around the team's fortunes

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    We are now three games into Neil Harris's reign and as such we are starting to see the changes he has implemented bearing fruit.

    The Bluebirds have picked up seven points from a possible nine under the new manager, but it's not just the results that have impressed Cardiff City fans.

    City have looked far more fluid in attack and far more resolute in defence in recent weeks and, just three points off the play-off spots and with basement boys Barnsley to come on the weekend, the picture looks a little rosier.

    We weren't to expect such an immediate change and Harris urged caution with regards to an overnight revolution, but the evolution is certainly picking up pace.

    A resolute defence, that first 45 minutes against Charlton apart, and glimpses of a real change in attack has already started seen a vastly different Cardiff City side to that of just a few short weeks ago.

    Here, we dissect the key aspects that have fuelled Harris's early success as Bluebirds boss.

    A far better shape off the ball
    Perhaps the most notable change has been the Bluebirds' discipline.

    They have been far more structured and Harris even admitted himself that the key to beating Nottingham Forest on the weekend was to be better than them off the ball. That certainly proved the case.

    Too often at the start of the season we saw City's defence get ragged around the field and the sheer lack of shape just looked completely wrong.

    It was unlike a Neil Warnock side to ship so many goals and afford teams so many clear-cut chances.

    After Charlton went 2-0 up in Harris's opening game, however, all those nightmares came flooding back.

    But, credit where credit is due, the new manager has gone some way to turning off that leaky tap.

    His side have now not conceded in 222 minutes of Championship football, which is no mean feat.

    There were too many gaps between the midfield and defence in that opening 45 minutes under Harris, but Leandro Bacuna and Marlon Pack have subsequently adjusted to this new system incredibly quickly and Forest were reduced to shooting, poorly, from way outside the box on the weekend.

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    "I think the fans that have been to the three games would have seen a side that didn't dominate the ball for large spells, but that takes patience and time and the need to develop players," Harris said after Forest.

    "But we are seeing moments of real structure without the ball, real discipline and the fans can see a team that are really giving their all for the club.

    "Players that maybe haven't hit the heights this season and maybe haven't been at their best for the football club are now showing that."

    His preparation is meticulous and places a greater emphasis on video analysis sessions than under the previous regime.

    At present, it looks like it is paying off.

    Lee Tomlin given a licence to thrill
    At the start of the season, City sat deep and waited for the counter-attack. They relied on their blistering pace from their wingers to create something from nothing.

    So while that aspect remains largely the same, there has been one big difference regarding the man with magic in his boots, Lee Tomlin.

    With Warnock often opting for a midfield three, Tomlin was crowbarred into a deeper-lying midfield role, thus negating much of his creativity going forward.

    Harris, on the other hand, appears to have thrown his trust into Marlon Pack and Leandro Bacuna. He has heaped all the defensive onus on those two and allowed Tomlin to play almost as a second striker.

    The new manager prefers a 4-4-2 system, which we saw from the start with Gary Madine and Callum Paterson, while Tomlin is now almost playing as a second striker and flourishing.

    [​IMG]

    He doesn't shirk his defensive responsibilities, of course, he just has fewer of them and the ones he does have are further up the pitch.

    The playmaker plays an important part in defence, but rather than occupying a midfielder, he is now pressing the centre backs and wing backs, allowing City to defend higher up the field.

    It also then allows him to play a greater part in engineering attacks when the Bluebirds force quicker turnovers in more dangerous areas.

    He must have been fouled a dozen times against Forest on the weekend and was a constant thorn in the side of the opposition's defence.

    Expect him to score, as he did against Charlton, far more regularly in this more advanced role. He can be so deadly there.

    Gary Madine benefiting from an arm around the shoulder
    Gary Madine has been brought in from the cold under Harris and that didn't surprise many, he was a player destined to benefit from the new manager's arrival.

    What has surprised some City fans, though, is just how impressive the striker has been.

    He is never going to win some supporters over, and Madine knows that unless he comes up with a bucket-load of goals over the next few weeks before the transfer window.

    But in terms of how well this new system is working, Madine is quickly becoming a key cog in the wheel.

    He has been physical, abrasive and courageous in his last three outings. He has chased and harried defenders, challenged everything in the air and was just a Jack Butland fingertip away from earning his first Cardiff goal against Stoke City.

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    Of course, Madine knows he can't go on forever without scoring, as does Harris.

    But the manager has backed him and told him he is part of his plans and it looks difficult to see Danny Ward or summer signing Robert Glatzel displacing him against Barnsley this weekend.

    That first goal will be vital, but in the meantime, it is difficult to deny that Madine has a very important role to play under Harris.

    Throwing bodies on the line
    "Inheriting a group of players from Neil Warnock, they are always going to have that character to dig in and show that true grit and determination," Harris said after the Nottingham Forest win.

    That nod to Warnock speaks volumes, of course, but it's also plain to see that these players are willing to roll up their sleeves and put their bodies on the line for their new manager. That's half the battle right there and is one of the many reasons Warnock has been so successful for so long.

    Some thought Lee Peltier's position might be under threat under Harris, given the manager's penchant for offering young players a chance and Cameron Coxe champing at the bit for a first-team opportunity.

    But, if anything, Peltier has embodied this gritty, wholehearted ethos Harris demands from his teams.

    The number of blocks and last-ditch tackles the right back has made in the last three games has reinforced his position as the No.1 right back and Harris has been delighted with him.

    [​IMG]

    "Defensively, he shows his leadership qualities," Harris said of Peltier after Saturday's win at the City Ground. "He's aggressive, he's solid and he's reliable in what he does.

    "We are asking the team to defend in a completely different style to what they are used to and, however experienced you are, you have to have time to adapt.

    "I think the back four has got better every game and they will continue to get better."

    Harris also called Jazz Richards, who is slowly returning from injury, an 'outstanding player' and one who could challenge Peltier for his spot and is a plot worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.

    But Richards won't get a look in if Peltier continues to play like this.

    Difficult to beat again
    One of the negative aspects highlighted by some fans when Harris was appointed was that they thought the style of attack would be similar to Warnock's, which many felt was outdated.

    But what they didn't account for was that for much of Warnock's reign, the 'blood-and-thunder approach' meant they were incredibly difficult to beat.

    This season under Warnock, that wasn't the case, as was evidenced by the insipid performance at Swansea City.

    But Harris seems to have reinstalled that gnarl and that belligerence that was a hallmark of Warnock's reign.

    City have recaptured that edge in the last two and-a-half games and a lot of credit has to go to their new centre-back pairing of Aden Flint and Curtis Nelson

    [​IMG]

    Flint had become something of a maligned figure towards the end of Warnock's tenure, but has enjoyed a resurgence under Harris.

    It is helped, of course, by the emergence of Nelson, who has probably been City's best player in the last month.

    While it means someone of Sean Morrison's quality is sitting on the bench, the Bluebirds' incumbents at centre back appear to be dovetailing superbly well at present and are forming a rigid backbone to what was once a tepid defence.

    But it's not just them. It's a team ethic that has been hammered into them and Harris was keen to get that across after the match.

    "I think they are doing well," Harris said of his centre-back pairing. "They will be the first to admit that the boys around them are providing that solid foundation.

    "Marlon Pack and Leandro Bacuna have been outstanding as a pair in the midfield as well.

    "When I took over, especially against Charlton, we looked too open. But we've found a structure to be organised.

    "Two clean sheets in two games, I'm really pleased for the defence."

    Long may that continue because, as the old adage goes in the Championship, it all starts at the back.

    The five things new Cardiff City boss Neil Harris has actually changed - https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/five-things-new-cardiff-city-17347546
     
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  2. Mad Al

    Mad Al Ballon d'Or Winner
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    6. His trousers
     
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  3. Colonel Cardiffi

    Colonel Cardiffi C'mon CITY!
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    We've just been a more exciting team since Harris took over. People were starting to loathe Warnockball and were talking of it being a chore to watch games and when Harris was announced there were plenty of people who just thought it would be more of the same but they could not have been more wrong. :warnock:
     
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  4. Spanker

    Spanker First Team Debut

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    Stoke was pretty grim viewing but they’re a talented team of players and we were never going to pass them off the field.
    Forest was the same however I think we were better.
    Yes they may have had 400 shots at goal but we had by far the better chances.
     
  5. Rydogsccfc

    Rydogsccfc Ballon d'Or Winner
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    Its interesting about the video analysis I like that Harris doesnt go into every game with the same plan expecting it to work.:aya:
     
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  6. Rydogsccfc

    Rydogsccfc Ballon d'Or Winner
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    Small steps :thumbup:
     
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  7. Dalman & Choo

    Dalman & Choo Academy Trialist

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    We say to Harris "Take bigger step, get there sooner"
     
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  8. Feedback

    Feedback Ballon d'Or Winner
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    ^^^^ this

    To omit is poor journalism
     
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  9. Rydogsccfc

    Rydogsccfc Ballon d'Or Winner
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    Fairplay Harris could turn out to be a masterstroke of an appointment well done Tan.:thumbup::aya:
     
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  10. Ring Peace

    Ring Peace Beloved Aunt
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    [​IMG] :warnock:
     
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  11. JJBlueDraggon

    JJBlueDraggon First Team Debut
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    There has always been a Cardiff City manager 'type' (Eddie May, Malky Mackay, Neil Warnock) who has the sort of personality needed to get the best out of a club like Cardiff (Dave jones was the exception who was not the stereotypical Cardiff city manager when you judge his personality but was successful).

    It was always evident to me that Neil Harris had the right personality to be the Cardiff City manager, for me Mark Hughes who was linked or Lee Bowyer's personality would of been a terrible fit for the football club.

    I do get the impression when I listen to Neil Harris that he has got a lot of ambition (to become a established premier league manager) but that he's determined to achieve those ambitions with Cardiff. If he did well and other clubs came calling I think he would be loyal to us, this is why he's putting so much emphasis on improving the academy as it is the start of long term thinking from the club.
     
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  12. Knees up Brian Clark

    Knees up Brian Clark Club and Country Superstar

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    All this positivity but God help him if he loses the next 3 games :hehe:
     
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  13. Steve R

    Steve R Ballon d'Or Winner
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    Give me Madine over Glatzel any day of the week.

    There, I've said it.
     
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  14. Rydogsccfc

    Rydogsccfc Ballon d'Or Winner
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    I think Glatzel would do well under Harris.
     
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  15. Rydogsccfc

    Rydogsccfc Ballon d'Or Winner
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    I think Glatzel would do well under Harris.
     
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  16. Eat Y'self Fitter

    Eat Y'self Fitter ⭐ Forum President ⭐
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    You want to know what I think? I think Glatzel would do well under Harris.
     
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  17. Ring Peace

    Ring Peace Beloved Aunt
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    Our striker Robert will play with malice.
    “When Glatzel’s fit he’ll be in squad.
    I’ll give him a run out to see what he’s got,"
    Says Harris.
     
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  18. Colonel Cardiffi

    Colonel Cardiffi C'mon CITY!
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    One Saturday I said to my Gladys,
    What chant she would shout from the terrace,
    To my chagrin,
    With a mischievous grin,
    she said, "I think I would say 'Up the Harris'".
     
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  19. Delboyo

    Delboyo Suitcase for hire
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    New manager bounce, hard to judge harris after just 3 games. 7 points out of 9 is a good return, but how would everyone feel once he starts to drop points? Would our fickle fans start to get on his case? It is refreshing to see the likes of Nelson and Madine having a run out.
     
  20. Arkay Dubya

    Arkay Dubya Ballon d'Or Winner
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    At least Glatzel has scored, something Our Gary has never looked like doing.