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THE BIG DEBRIEF; CARDIFF CITY..................................................0 MILLWALL.........................................................0.

Byline: The big-match debrief with TERRY PHILLIPS

HOW DID CITY SET-UP? The usual 4-4-1-1 with Joe Mason and Eoin Doyle in attack.

SELECTION & TACTICS? Craig Noone, returned in place of Fabio, who had played wide in midfield at Ipswich Town.

Man-of-the-match Noone shone for most of the game, while Peter Whittingham stood out in his playmaking role.

Russell Slade selected just about his strongest team, although Fabio, pictured below, went on for the injured Scott Malone during the first half, but City could not beat a Millwall team on the brink of being relegated.

HOW DID THE REF FARE? The performance of Mark Brown (East Yorkshire) was poor. He failed to deal with a controversial incident when Lee Gregory went in on Manga with his studs showing.

That sparked anger from Cardiff and Lee Peltier confronted Gregory, while Millwall's Martyn Woolford angrily told a linesman what he thought. He seemed to be accusing Peltier of spitting, but the referee opted to book Gregory and Peltier.

The official might have shown red to Gregory for what was a poor challenge. There were other moments when Brown seemed to lose his way in terms of making decisions and maintaining control.

HOW DID CITY DEAL WITH SET-PIECES? Poorly. Bruno Manga and Sean Morrison failed to exert authority at the back and Millwall caused problems from corners and free-kicks.

BIGGEST GAFFE? Gary Fletcher-Taylor missed a glorious chance to win the match. Ricardo Fuller pulled the ball back for the unmarked Taylor-Fletcher as Bruno Manga lost his man.

The Millwall man failed to connect properly when he looked certain to score. A goal then would have been a massive blow for Cardiff.

MOAN OF THE MATCH I want to see passion, fervour and a high tempo from Cardiff. But there was an end-of-season feel to their performance. They don't have much to play for in terms of league position, but the fans deserve more. Cardiff were mediocre, particularly in the second half. Millwall went home unfortunate not to have won.

REASONS TO BE POSITIVE Peter Whittingham is finding form as the season comes to an end. That Whitts/Gunnarsson partnership is sparking up again and that's great to see. Whittingham's quality and Gunnarsson's sheer drive and tenacity can be a good combination.

CAUSE FOR CONCERN Millwall look certain to be going down.

They are deep in trouble at the bottom.

Yet, they were clearly the better team against Cardiff.

Former Bluebirds striker Neil Harris is the Millwall manager and he was bitterly disappointed his team did not complete a double against their hosts. Cardiff lacked bite, they lacked intensity.

Why did that happen after a hightempo display at Ipswich in midweek when they deserved better than defeat?

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 20, 2015
Words:452
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