2011/12 Season Preview: Cardiff City
Gaffer: Malky Mackay of course. Poached from the 'Orns for a fee rumored to be in the region of 300k in order to replace Dave Jones.
Armed with (again, a rumored) £20m wage and transfer kitty for the season, Mackay will be under immediate pressure to deliver promotion to the long-suffering Bluebird's faithful.
Position 10/11: 4th, losing in the Play-offs to eventual runners-up Reading.
Promotion was the target and as result Jones fell on his sword after a long spell in South Wales.
In: Craig Conway, Don Cowie, Andrew Taylor, Robert Earnshaw (all free transfers), Aaron Gunnarsson (Coventry, undisc.) and Joe Mason (Plymouth, £250k).
Out: Adam Matthews (Celtic, free), Chris Burke, Martin John, Gavin Rae, Jay Bothroyd (all released) and Michael Chopra (Ipswich Town, £1.5m).
b>Star Man: With much of the squad leaving over the summer due to the end of loan or full-time contracts, the mantle of 'star player' is still up for grabs some might argue.
Winger Peter Whittingham would disagree though and the former Villa man will be looking to add consistency to his performances, two seasons after a runaway success as Championship top-scorer.
Best Business: So far so good for Mackay, who has spent his luxurious budget wisely, making it hard to pick a stand out piece of business.
Cowie, as 'Orns fans know, works extremely hard and is a very complete player, whilst Taylor is an extremely solid left-back, probably suited to the Premier League in the future. However, the addition of the fierce, energetic Gunnarsson might be the key one with the Bluebird's midfield desperately in need of pepping up.
Prediction: A lot depends on how quickly the news arrivals blend in and how quickly Mackay gets his methods across. If everything clicks, then I see an automatic promotion chase, or at least a Play-off place.
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