Soccer

Cardiff have rediscovered confidence after narrow win over Stoke – Erol Bulut

Kion Etete’s header in the fifth minute ended the Bluebirds’ four-game run without a goal at home.

Erol Bulut’s Cardiff edged a win over struggling Stoke
Cardiff manager Erol Bulut applauds the fans Erol Bulut’s Cardiff edged a win over struggling Stoke (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Erol Bulut believes Cardiff have rediscovered their confidence after grinding out a 2-1 Championship victory over Stoke.

Bulut’s men impressed in the first half at Cardiff City Stadium, with Kion Etete’s header in the fifth minute ending the Bluebirds’ four-game run without a goal at home.

Karlan Grant put the hosts 2-0 up in the 32nd minute – with what was his fifth goal of the season – before Bae Jun-ho tapped home four minutes before half-time to drag the Potters back into the contest.

But the visitors spurned numerous chances in the second half and fell into the relegation zone after suffering a sixth defeat in seven matches.

Victory was Cardiff’s first at home since beating Millwall in early December and ensured they claimed four points from the six on offer this week following a 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night.

“When we had the last win at home, it was a long time ago,” said Bulut. “The confidence was not the best in the team because we lost games.

“I said after the last game (against Blackburn), ‘this is a game where we have to get our confidence back’. We got one point and this game was to continue to build on our confidence.

“It was a must today to get three points. I’m really satisfied with the performance of the team.

“Of course, you can add in parts of the game, better football, but in the situation we’re in right now, the first half was really good. We scored two goals, we got an early goal from a free-kick.

“We fought until the end to not concede a second goal.”

Stoke dropped to 22nd after losing for the third game running on the road.

Steven Schumacher was jeered by the away supporters after the game and the Stoke boss admitted he fully understood the frustrations of the Potters faithful.

“It’s understandable because we’ve lost another game of football,” he said. “I think they can see that the players have tried and gave 100 per cent.

“In two key areas of the game we haven’t been good enough. That’s been a recurring theme throughout the whole season – not just lately – and that’s why we’re in the position that we’re in.

“So we get it, all we ask is, we all need to stick together because we’re going to need their support for the next 12 games.”

And on the defeat to Cardiff, Schumacher said: “It’s similar to what I’ve said numerous times since I’ve been here.

“A team that’s been in control of the game, created more chances than the opposition, had more corners and more attempts at goal, but we’ve lost it because we’ve been punished from two errors and haven’t been clinical in our finishing.”