Russel Slade's pre Reading comments

Last updated : 04 April 2015 By Michael Morris


Comments published Friday 3rd April 2015

Can you give us an injury up-date?

We’ve still got one or two doubts. Macheda and Revell have made progress, but remain doubtful for Reading. Ben Turner is making good progress. He’s not going to be in and around it for these two games. He’s having some part of sessions and next week will go in fully. He wants to get fit. That’s the good thing.

He’s determined. We hope he will be available soon. Dikgacoi is making progress. There’s a fitness element that needs to be addressed. He’s back in full training and we hope he will play some football this season. He’s working hard and he needs to lost a few more pounds. Pilkington is in training too. Hoping to give him some football.

We have a game on the 10th and if he comes through that, all systems go. Peltier is back in contention. That’s good news too.

Joe Mason will be joining the group travelling which is good to see. Remains to see whether he will start, but he’s been training well. We are delighted he’s back.

Is having Mason back one of the reasons Kenwyne Jones could go?

Not really that was a separate issue to be honest. It’s just fortunate that Joe is at that stage where he can finish the season and play some football.

You’ve been on a good run, did the international break interrupt things a bit?

Yes, a little but because I don’t think we needed the break. We had momentum with us albeit we have lost a few bodies. The players have come back though and trained well. That’s the only sign you get. Their attitude has been spot on so I hope we can maintain it and keep things going.

There’s a feel good factor in Welsh football now. Are you hoping to capitalise on it?

There is a good feeling. All the home teams have done well. It’s good for everybody. Wales in particular are flying high and that’s great. We’ve got people involved.

Martyn Margetson is goal-keeping coach, Declan John and Danny Gabbidon is sometimes called up. I saw the under-21s dispose of Bulgaria in mid-week. They did well. It was great to see Tommy O’Sullivan nick a couple of goals. We feel we are contributing to it.

What do you make of Reading?

They are probably similar to us. There’s been an element of inconsistency. They stated off well. I think their current form is won two, drawn two and lost two.

They’ve been a bit up and down, but they’ve had a terrific cup run. We know they can be strong and resilient and at the same time they are capable of scoring goals.

They’ve got a big squad to choose from so it’s difficult to know what side they will go with. It will be a tough, competitive game. But our form away from home has been very good recently and we want to keep that going.

You mentioned the FA Cup defeat against Reading. Does that provide you with any extra motivation?

We were disappointed with that exit, that is for sure. Fair play to Reading they have gone on and got to a semi-final, which is a fantastic achievement but we will be looking to keep up our good league form.

You separate the two really, they have had a good cup run and I am pleased for them and it flies the flag for the Championship. But we want to finish the season as well as we possibly can and that means getting points at Reading.

Do you hope they have one eye on the semi-final?

I was hoping this game would be closer to the semi-final, but it is not until the 18th so I am sure they will be fully focused on the league game.

If it were next weekend maybe there could be motivation to stay fit and fresh for that. But it is an important league game for both of us, they need points as they do not want to get sucked into any danger. They will want to get points on the board and look forward to that game at Wembley.

Oliver Norwood was a big influence in the cup game. How do you go about limiting his influence this time?

He is like a few players in this league in that if you give them time and space they can be a threat. He is in that category, he has a great short and long passing game.

He can get a shot off and is dangerous from set plays. They have a few like that who can take a good corner or a good free-kick so are aware of their threats.

The Upper Ninian Stand will be closed for next season due to low season ticket sales. Does that disappoint you?

I can understand it. Getting a season ticket is costly and obviously being in the Premier League and the hope of getting back there at the first time of asking means you get those floating supporters still coming down and supporting the football club. I think our hardcore of supporters will always be with us, all we can do is work extremely hard.

We need a good pre-season, we need a good summer and to get off to a good start and I am sure then the fans will start coming back.

What would be your message to any fans who are on the fence about renewing their season ticket?

I think if you are a strong, true supporter I think you would want to get on board. If you are undecided I can understand that, but the summer will be important in terms of players coming in and players coming out. I think we are making progress, if you look you can see that progress on the pitch.

There is a lot of work going on in terms of preparation for pre-season and getting that right. It was something the club probably did not get right last season and then you will see that progression. If you see that progression during pre-season then get yourself down and get a season ticket.

What did you make of Kenwyne Jones’ comments that Cardiff are an unstable club and that he was mystified as to why he was being moved out?

I have not really read the article, but I think unstable is not the right choice of work. We are trying to be responsible as a football club and we are trying to gain stability.

I have said before there are clubs in League One who have struggled to do that, like Coventry, Barnsley, Sheffield United, who were not responsible. What we are trying to do is be responsible, get the club on a sustainable level and move forward again.

That does not mean we lack ambition, we are stabilising so we can build again and that is how I see it. Kenwyne may see if differently, but I’m not sure.

Has he played his last game for Cardiff?

I believe he has another year left on his contract. I don’t think he has played his last game. If you are regrouping as a club, you still have to hang on to quality.

It is about balance, it is not about cutting and bringing the budget all the way down for every single player. I still think you need your quality players and it is important you get that balance. It does not mean players are necessarily going to leave the football club.

There was a suggestion he was allowed to leave because another appearance would have triggered a contract extension for Kenwyne Jones. Is there any truth in that?

No, not that I am aware of. Absolutely not.