Jones must find solution for the long haul

Last updated : 07 May 2009 By Michael Morris
It's not just this year that we've thrown away the chance of a play off position at least.

The teams that push on and galvanise themselves go on to get promotion. They stand up to be counted. We unfortunately have wilted at the business end of the season each year Jones has been in charge.

John Heyda has produced the following:

* 2005/06 - On March 4, City record a 1-0 home win over Sheffield Wednesday and move up to 7th place. City's 55 points bring them level with sixth-place Preston, though PNE has three games in hand on this date. None of this matters in the end, though, as City collect a meagre five points (one win, two draws) over their last nine games to slide to 11th. In truth, the playoffs would have been hard to reach as City'd have needed another 15 or 16 points to surpass sixth-place finishers Crystal Palace.

* 2006/07 - On March 10, City find themselves in fifth place after edging Norwich 1-0 at Ninian Park. Sixth-place Preston and seventh-place Wolves have 62 points as well, but City have the edge in the goal-difference column. Again, none of this matters by season's end as City pick up a grand total of two points over their last nine and plummet to 13th. Could City have made the playoffs from their March 10 position? As it turns out, they'd have needed another 11 or 12 points. Still, a total of 13 or 14 points over their last nine games would seem doable.

* 2007/08 - On January 12, City beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at home to hold eighth place with 39 points from the first 27 games. Sixth-place Crystal Palace have 41 points on this date. From that point on, however, City add only 25 points from their last 19 games (six wins, seven draws) and slip to 12th. Still, City finished only six points out of the playoffs last season. Add six points to their total needed over the last 19 and you get 31 points. Again, doable.

* 2008/09 - We know this one by heart, of course. City's Easter Monday 3-1 home win over Burnley has the club in fourth place, eight points ahead of both seventh-place Swansea and eighth-place Preston and with a game in hand on both. One point from the last four games sends City reeling to seventh place.

Thanks John.

A season lasts for 46 games. Not 27, 42 or even 45. Cardiff City need to keep up their challenge right until the end and not start falling away in the latter stages of the season. A trend Jones will have to buck next term as I don't think he'll get another chance if he blows it again.