Eagles prey on below par Bluebirds. Website reaction

Last updated : 11 April 2004 By Michael Morris

The performace was poor, the referee a joke - he was the star today, in his eyes. A prima donna ref who liked the sound of his own whistle. He took more names than a wiating list for a dentist in Carmarthenshire and then sent off Tony Vidmar as well.

Over the last 2 days the play off chasers were all over the place. Wigan - lost, Millwall - lost, Sheff Utd - lost, Reading - lost, West Ham - drew. Only Ipswich picked up a win and City could have thrust themselves into contention. As it is it's Palace who have the advantage. Todays win has catapulted them into play off contention and on todays showing good luck to them.

Cardiff were shockingly average. The Palace defence appeared to have all day to stop the infrequent City advances and in the second half they made us pay with two breakaway goals on the counter attack.

First up Julian Gray's cross/shot rebounded kindly for Johnson to side foot into the empty net and as City pushed more men forward at the end Palace broke again to set up Wayne Routlidge to kill the game off.

Hats off to Palace, they closed us down quickly, they defended well and took their chances.

I think the stats show we had three on target efforts. I can't actually remember their keeper making a save.

It was as if we had settled for mid table before kick off. To be honest if we made the play offs we will have over achieved, if we were to somehow get promoted we'd be sitting ducks.

The table does not lie. We are a good first division team. We have good players but we are not a Premiership team. I think Norwich and WBA will struggle if they go up. We'd be lambs to the slaughter.

I'm not expecting promotion. I think we'd do well to have a top 10 finish then invest in the summer to be stronger next year.

The annoying part though is that we have been good enough this season to do better but have bottled it when we should have been stronger.

Today was a shocker, City were like boys trying to attack a well marshalled and very efficient Palace defence. Earnie had a few efforts and could have put City ahead early in the second half with a cracking turn and shot, Palace though played a perfect game for an away team. They closed us down quickly and were deadly on the break. It was very confusing to hear City fans cheering Julian Gray when he was part of the moves that saw us conceded goals.

Gray doing the ayatollah was a nice touch but who's laughing now.

As I say today showed we are where we should be. Far too good to go down but not good enough to go up. If there was one crumb of comfort then Derby's 0 - 0 at West Ham means we cannot be relegated.

Wigan away on Tuesday, win and we will be looking at the table again. Lose and it will just about be all over.

I'm happy we still have ambitions this far into the season but I feel now that we should be preparing for more determined attack next season.