Cardiff 0-0 Aston Villa

It was a game that we needed to get maximum points in this evening, I said a couple of weeks ago that it is a pointless exercise in saying that we played well but don’t reap the rewards by getting the points.

Aston Villa are a side we must be beating at home if we hoped to stay in this division.

The team sheet was very close to what I hoped it would be, the front 6 were exactly what I wanted to see but I will hold my hand up here and now that I didn’t think Turner deserved a starting place tonight after recent performances but he was immense, his tackling was top drawer and he was my choice for man of the match.

I am sure others will say David Marshall should get the plaudits and his two saves in the last few minutes were world class, yes I said world class, the very last save of the game was insane, I don’t think I have seen anything quite like it, there should have been no way he could get a hand to it but he did and not only that he managed to tip it over with his left hand whilst already going in the opposite direction.

But Turner for myself was strong in the challenge when he had to be, he faced difficult balks but dealt with them very well and he done it all game.

I thought that Catherine or McNaughton would start but I expected Fabio to be given a reprieve but on the left in place of the young Declan John, who looks a very promising player but for me his inexperience is being shown up and maybe it is the time to take him out of the side for his own development.

The first half I was glad to see City have a go and be a lot more adventurous with their play and we should have been rewarded with a goal and from my position a stonewall penalty, Fraizer Campbell was in the air and he was forearmed in the back, I still cannot fathom how Chris Foy didn’t award the foul.

Wilfred Zaha was having plenty of the ball in the first half but with Villa playing a considerable high line, why was he not choosing to go on the outside of the full back, he got the pace and definitely got the skill to beat a man but I found it frustrating that he insisted on coming inside on every attack.

Craig Noone had an excellent first half and it only proved the decision to leave him on the bench for the Swansea game very bizarre indeed, Noone was a constant threat to Villa and much of our best play went through him.

Losing Jordon Mutch to injury was a massive blow and he is a real presence in the middle of the park, strong on the ball, very direct runs and an aerial threat too, it was the 31st minute and my optimism subsided considerably when he was substituted.

I defended Kenwyne Jones after the Swansea defeat, as my thought process was that if you don’t get ball to a striker there is very little he can do, this evening Jones won his fair share of headers but he gave a lot if ball away and on time it appeared that he was not bothered about chasing balls down and putting pressure on defenders, I think City fans have always been supportive of players who give their all but they will quickly turn on any player who is not committed, or appears to be not committed, to the cause.

The second half worried me, we had lost our drive, maybe the Mutch injury was partly the reason but cannot be the absolute reason. We found ourselves on the back foot and had it not been for poor finishing by Villa’s strikers we were lucky to keep a clean sheet.

It was pleasing to witness a performance that was a complete contrast to the one we witnessed on Saturday, managing to keep our first clean sheet in the league under Ole but the feeling at the final whistle was that we dropped two points tonight and it was not a point gained. I didn’t want to type these words but I now believe that unless we win against Hull a week on Saturday then relegation is just a matter of time for us.

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