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Neil Harris Press Conference - Wigan Home

Discussion in 'Cardiff City Forum' started by Colonel Cardiffi, 14 Feb 2020.

  1. Colonel Cardiffi

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    Cardiff City press conference Live: Latest as Neil Harris faces media ahead of Wigan Athletic clash

    The Bluebirds boss is holding a press conference this morning ahead of Saturday's match against the Latics

    [​IMG]

    Question: What’s the team news looking like for Wigan?

    Neil Harris: Injury-wise, we are good. As we were going into the game midweek.

    Everyone has come through Wednesday unscathed. It now comes down to the players.

    Joe Ralls is doing really well. This weekend is too soon for him. We are hoping he will come through training today and tomorrow morning.
     
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  2. Colonel Cardiffi

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    What about Brad Smith?

    Harris: He’s done great.

    He’s played 90 minutes in the week but game time has been limited. We set a game up at the Vale behind closed doors and played 90 minutes on Tuesday night so he is up to speed and comes into the reckoning.
     
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  3. Colonel Cardiffi

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    Is Josh Murphy turning things around for the club?

    Harris: It’s early days for him. Keep him focused. With Josh, ability is not a question, is it? Everyone knows his capability.

    But how we want to play with or without the ball is key, some get it quickly and some take time to get up to speed.

    You want players in form, with confidence and what the manager demands with or without the ball.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Colonel Cardiffi

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    Are play-off chances in sight?

    Harris: They are more realistic than they were seven days ago. I’d love to get carried away and get everyone excited. But you can go from 8th to 12th really quickly, but you can also go up to fourth really quickly.

    But we are a much better group now than we were a few weeks ago.

    We’ve got the spirit and togetherness.

    At Luton we had to dig really deep and then Huddersfield is about as good an away performance as you’re likely to see in the Championship.

    Every bit of focus and energy they put in the last two games we have to follow that up.

    We are in a good position. The teams above us will look over their shoulder if we win on the weekend.
     
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  5. Colonel Cardiffi

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    On Murphy’s stats...

    Harris: I am careful not to put onus on Josh Murphy or Lee Tomlin, or Sean Morrison or Alex Smithies. It’s being a really solid team.
     
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  6. Colonel Cardiffi

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    Where do you rank this Cardiff team?

    Harris: West Brom are six points clear and the best team in the league. But we beat them two weeks ago.

    We played better football and physically outmuscled them. We came from three behind at Leeds to get a result.

    We’ve gone toe to toe with mid-table teams, Millwall, Preston, we’ve shown different ways of doing it.

    It’s the consistency that I’ve been after.
     
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  7. Colonel Cardiffi

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    You’ve got Wigan at home, with their poor away form - fancy your chances?

    Harris: It’s the same Wigan team that won at Leeds last week.

    I went to the game on Tuesday evening to watch them against Middlesbrough and they put in a fine display until the red card.

    They’ve got individual players who can cause you problems, but we focus on ourselves.

    The players want a happy dressing room.
     
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  8. Colonel Cardiffi

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    What about Kieffer Moore, who could have been a Cardiff City player?

    Harris: We were linked with Kieffer, he’s been in form for the national team and we are the capital city.

    We are aware of his attributes and talents. Keeping him quiet is a big part of stopping Wigan.
     
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  9. Colonel Cardiffi

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    Are you a happy man?

    Harris: I am, but I always want more.

    I always put that demand on players.

    They are getting to grips with me and my standards.

    We’ve had to do some real hard yards.

    Very limited time on the grass so we have had to find out about our performances on the pitch.

    We know we are moving in the right direction, but that can quickly disappear.

    We find ourselves on the fringes of the play-offs, but now we want to be in there.
     
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  10. Colonel Cardiffi

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    Are you a hard team to beat?

    Harris: It shows our defensive capabilities. We have been right up there with the amount of draws in English football.

    Turning draws into wins is vital moving forward.

    We’ve given very few chances away, expected goals, barring QPR, we don’t give clear-cut chances.
     
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    Is the Murphy goal the perfect example?

    Harris: In one way. Disciplined, hard-working without the ball. A real trust in each other.

    Whether you play forward quickly, make your passes, but it’s all about running. The goal just summed it up.
     
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    On playing style...

    Harris: We have played different ways. Passing the ball well at times, maybe overpassing it - not passing forward enough in key moments.

    Birmingham, we passed it sidewards and didn’t go anywhere. We need to find that balance.

    Players need a structure to play from but they need freedom to express themselves.
     
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  13. Colonel Cardiffi

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    Is there a moment in training where it was paying off?

    Harris: We are not there at the moment. We have still got a long way to go and loads to improve on.

    In the Championship it is important to have different ways.

    Coaches are too tactically minded and players are good enough to adapt.

    Form is temporary.

    At the moment, with every player we have put in they have performed.
     
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  14. Colonel Cardiffi

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    Can you cement this run of form and kick on?

    Harris: We have, but we have to be respectful to the fact we are not on a huge run.

    We are building and we have given ourselves a great chance, but I don’t want to get expectation levels too high.

    Ever since I’ve come in we’ve just expected to be a top-six side, but you really have to earn that right in this division.

    So I don’t want to get carried away, as boring as that may sound

    What we’ve done in the last two games, three games, four, five, six games, has been really pleasing.

    However, it’s all about Wigan Athletic at home.

    What I’m seeing at the moment is us at our best is good enough to win games of Championship football.
     
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  15. Colonel Cardiffi

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    You’re still building, it must be exciting?

    Harris: Yes and we are still building.

    I’ve seen huge improvement in the group.
     
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    On young star Ntazana Mayembe:

    Harris: Exciting. Loads to learn, but he is exciting.

    He has had exposure to the first-team squad. He has been elevated quite quickly into the U23s and we want to work and develop him.

    How much can he learn from Tomlin, Murphy, Whyte?

    That’s what he’s got to do. Everyone just sees the pitch. But it’s what they do off the pitch, working hard on the training pitch.

    [​IMG]
     
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    On Will Vaulks’ celebration:

    Harris: I’ve been looking forward to seeing that. It was a set-play we had worked on on the training pitch.

    The celebration was impressive but so was the delivery from Marlon.

    [​IMG]
     
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    Defensive rigidity, what’s changed?

    Harris: To address QPR, coming off the back of Sheffield Wednesday, we changed shape and gave the team an opportunity to stay in that, which is something we are going to learn from.

    A settled team and good combinations.

    Sol has come back into the group, played in the Cup games and done well, Flinty has played a lot for me and done well.

    Morrison and Nelson are a good pair at the moment, solid, reliable and aggressive. They like contact and can both run, which is key.

    Jazz and Bennett at full back are looking solid and reliable.

    The defence itself, with Alex coming in and giving a real solidness. He’s a vocal goalkeeper and where we were a little bit unsure, conceding too many goals, Alex has given everyone a boost. No disrespect to Neil, he is a top goalkeeper.

    We are very hard to break down.

    How many saves does Alex have to make? Because the shape in front is so good. It gives you real confidence.
     
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  19. Colonel Cardiffi

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    What about continuity, selecting the same team and a fixture pile-up?

    Harris: That’s the million dollar question going into tomorrow.

    And that’s not just for Neil Harris to consider, that’s everybody in the Championship with Saturday-Tuesday or Saturday-Wednesday.

    Looking at freshness and continuity. That’s where the management side of it comes in.

    Who’s maybe carrying fatigue and knocks. But who is in form? Who will run through a brick wall for me?

    Everyone wants to play and train. The GPS numbers on the training pitch are huge. That’s testament to the work ethic in the group.
     
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    What was Steve Morison’s scouting report on Brad Smith?

    Harris: He was really pleased with him. We were up in the snow at Huddersfield. Really pleased with him though, more, for us, about legs, fitness-wise.

    He’s an attack-minded full back who will just run and run and run. But it’s the runs back towards goal in the 80th minute that really test you.
     
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