Steve Morison believes Cardiff City’s mature performance in their win over Stoke City highlights just how far his side have come since his first game in charge against the Potters back in October.
That game at the bet365 Stadium was chaotic, with the Bluebirds going 3-0 down before eventually clawing the game back to draw. That performance in October was worlds away from the largely commanding display on show at Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday night.
Coming into the match, Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill believed Cardiff would not be too dissimilar from the team they faced in Morison’s first game in charge. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
READ MORE: Michael O’Neill believed Cardiff would be similar to the side Stoke faced in October
The style of football has improved drastically and the fact there were only three players in the starting XI from that draw in October highlights how much Cardiff have changed. And Morison, who clearly read O’Neill’s pre-match analysis of his Bluebirds side, took pride in showing just how far his City side have come.
“We didn’t deserve to be 1-0 down in the first half. I thought we were excellent,” Morison said. “We got our just rewards for our performance by being 2-1 up at half-time. They gambled second half, put us under pressure and had a couple of moments, but I still think we had the better chances in the second half.
“If anyone wants to question the players’ attitude, application, they are the type of performances that put all that to bed. I thought all round, we defended really well, scored two excellent goals. When we started this whole process we were in the bottom three or four, they were in the play-offs and tonight we finish level on points with them.
“Some turnaround from a team that is apparently the same team that went to Stoke 24 games ago. Really pleased. Proud as punch. It’s been a tough seven weeks and we have ended it 18 points above the bottom three, on 46 points and in a hell of a good place.”
Morison believes that the amount of work he and his staff have put in early on in their tenure means his team are now incredibly well drilled and are able to execute game plans to a tee.
“Ultimately, our level of consistent performance has gone up. We have been consistently decent. Our average is higher. We were excellent and aligned and that’s what we wanted to do.
“We put a hell of a lot of work in on the training ground. Before the game we just showed them a video of what we wanted to do, we didn’t work on it in training. We just show them it and they carry it out. We did that much work at the start that they understand it all. And they are really good players and can pick it up quickly. I was really pleased with the all-round performance.”
Speaking about Morison after the match, O’Neill said: “Steve’s done a great job. I have to commend him on that. We have not been good enough.”
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