Earnie, Kav and Scott Murray have their say

Last updated : 06 May 2003 By Michael Morris
Robert Earnshaw

CARDIFF CITY goal machine Robert Earnshaw has warned play-off opponents Bristol City that the Bluebirds are on a revenge mission.

Lennie Lawrence's men will face the West Country side in the annual end-of-season lottery - and they are desperate to set the record straight.

The Robins were the only side to have done the league double over City this season, winning both matches 2-0.

City enjoyed no luck in those Severnside derbies with the games at Ninian Park and Ashton Gate both turning on dubious penalty decisions.

Now Earnshaw, who netted a club record 31st league goal of the season at Crewe on the weekend, is dreaming of sweet revenge and a place in the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium.

"Bristol have done us twice this season and everyone at the club feels this is our chance for revenge," said the Wales striker.

"Both games could have gone either way, but they went Bristol's way. We haven't had much luck since Christmas. Hopefully we'll start having some luck in the play-offs."

The Robins triumphed at Ninian Park on December 14 and Brian Tinnion opened the scoring from the spot after Peter Thorne was penalised for an innocuous foul on Matt Hill.

Danny Wilson's men completed the double at Ashton Gate only 13 days ago - Tinnion again breaking the deadlock from the spot following a harsh handball decision against Daniel Gabbidon.

"It's going to be tough," added Earnshaw, who started the Crewe game from the bench but came on for the start of the second half.
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Graham Kavanagh
IF you ever find yourself in conversation with Graham Kavanagh, try to avoid the subject of play-offs.

For the Cardiff City skipper, the annual end-of-season shoot-out is something of a sore point.

He really isn't comfortable talking about football's own version of Russian roulette.

And understandably so since Kavanagh has tasted play-off defeat for the last three years, twice with Stoke City and once with the Bluebirds.

Now the Irish midfielder, like City colleague Peter Thorne, finds himself heading into the play-offs for the fourth year running - but he's determined to come out a winner this time.

"If a player is given the choice of how to win promotion, he'd have to go for doing it in the play-offs because of that one game at the Millennium Stadium," said Kavanagh, who now leads City into a two-leg semi-final against Bristol City.

"To win the final there must make it a fantastic day. On the other hand, it must be very demoralising to lose in the final."
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Scott Murray
Bristol City's player of the season Scott Murray today reflected on a fabulous campaign for himself and his club but stressed: "Nothing but promotion will do us now". The Ashton Gate wing wizard grabbed his 26th goal of the season in the 2-0 win over Port Vale on Saturday, a result which secured third spot in Division Two and set up a two-legged play-off match with Cardiff, starting at Ninian Park this Saturday (3pm).

On another memorable day for the Scot, the 28-yearold was named City Supporters' Club's player of the season and also walked off with the top goalscorer award.

Today, however, it was business as usual as Murray and his team-mates prepared for their semifinal tie against their arch-rivals. The second leg at Ashton Gate on Tuesday, May 13 (7.45pm) will be televised on Sky with the winners facing either Queens' Park Rangers or Oldham in the Millennium Stadium final.

Murray still harbours hopes of scoring at least two more goals before the season is out to raise his League tally to 20.

But he added: "The main thing is we focus on Cardiff. To be honest, the lads weren't that bothered who they played because they knew there'd be a good chance of playing them again at some stage.

"We fancy our chances against any of the play-off contenders anyhow, so we'll not be in the least bit daunted going over there, even though we know all about the quality they have in their side.
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