Behind Enemy Lines: Cardiff City

MILLWALL are back at The Den on Tuesday night for the first of two home games this week.

The Lions will be looking to get back to winning ways after Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Brentford at Griffin Park, when they face Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City.

They then face Stoke on Saturday in Gary Rowett’s first game in charge.

Alex Grace spoke to Bluebirds fan Ryan Lewis ahead of Tuesday’s game.

Twitter: Ryan_Lewis226

Why do you support Cardiff?

I support Cardiff because when I was five years old my grandfather took me down to Ninian Park to watch them beat Sheffield Wednesday. I've been hooked ever since.

What has been your favourite season following the Bluebirds?

My favourite season was the promotion campaign in 2017-18 just because we were written off at the start of the season.

Our battle at the top of the Championship with Wolves for most of the season was fantastic. We played some good football at times, which is very rare to see at Cardiff.

And the worst?

The worst season was definitely last season. We outperformed all of the expectations of us in the Premier League only to be let down by the officials.

The Chelsea home game springs to mind where their equaliser was clearly offside and Antonio Rudiger should have been sent off.

The Emiliano Sala tragedy also was a horrible situation and still is.

The Bluebirds have made an inconsistent start to the season – why do you think that is?

A few reasons. The hangover from the Premier league was expected, I don't feel like Neil Warnock has found the right tactics to set up this team yet.

We also had a lot of new players come in during the summer and some have still yet to fully settle in.

Are you confident that Warnock is the right man for the job?

Neil Warnock is definitely still the man for the job. His promotion record in the lower leagues is second to none. He saved our club from three successive horror managers in Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Russell Slade and Paul Trollope.

We were destined for relegation when he took over and he almost got us to the play-offs in the same season.

He will find the right balance in this team, we have some really exciting players and I'm sure we will start climbing up the table soon.

Cardiff are currently 11th in the table, four points off the play-offs – what would you consider a good season?

The play-offs are a minimum requirement for me this season. If you look at our squad we have quality in every area, we should really be doing better.

But like I said in a previous question, Warnock still hasn't found the right tactics and balance for this team. I'm sure we will be there or thereabouts at the top end of the table come the end of the season.

Games between Millwall and Cardiff are often tight. The last three meetings have been drawn with just two goals scored – do you see something similar happening on Tuesday?

I can definitely see it being a tight and cagey game.

We obviously have the south Wales derby coming up on Sunday so I hope the players are not focusing on that just yet.

Our away form has been terrible this season so far but it will improve soon. Also, with a new manager expected to be announced soon by Millwall, I'm sure the players will want to prove themselves.

If you could sign one Millwall player, who would it be and why?

We need a goal-scorer desperately, so Tom Bradshaw.

I've also always been a big fan of Jed Wallace.

Who will be your key men on Tuesday?

Our defence will be crucial as always but we have some fantastic wingers. So expect Gavin Whyte and Josh Murphy to be running around your full-backs for most of the game.

Whether we can convert the chances created by them is another question altogether.

Will you be at the game of Tuesday?

I will not be at the game Tuesday, unfortunately. I always like going to The Den but a Tuesday night trip to London isn't for me.

What is your predicted Cardiff starting XI and formation?

I think Warnock might try something different on Tuesday, maybe an adapted attacking 4-4-2.

The starting line-up will be something like:

Etheridge; Peltier, Morrison, Flint, Bennett; Whyte, Ralls, Bacuna, Murphy; Ward, Glatzel.

Finally, a score prediction?

Millwall 1-2 Cardiff.

Whyte and Ward the goal-scorers.

Graphic: @jay_taylor18