Statistics show City on top

Looking back on Saturday's home 2-1 defeat to West Ham, the City manager Andy Thorn said the result was hard to take after watching his side dominate a promotion chasing side for much of the game.

It took a bizarre winner from Freddie Piquionne, but the Hammers striker knew nothing about the goal after he slipped and missed the ball which then rebounded off Martin Cranie, hit Piquionne's knee and into the net.

Thorn said, “It’s hard to take things like that, but you can’t afford to brood on it, you’ve just got to stay positive, stay confident and, keep doing the right things.

“The stats from Saturday were the highest they’ve been this season, which was what we thought at the time. Our work rate off the ball was very, very good and that’s reassuring because it had taken a little dip.

“On another day we could have won comfortably and if we cut out those little individual mistake we won’t have to be nervous about playing anybody.

" We’re well aware of what Cardiff will bring, but I certainly won’t be going out there with nine people behind the ball.”

West Hammer manager Sam Allardyce had to make changes to his side at half time and they emerged with a different team after the break, but still had trouble with City's tenacious efforts.

Thorn explained, “They couldn’t get to grips with us in the first half, but we knew they would at some stage when Sam got them re-organised so we had to be ready for that.

“To be fair, I thought we were; we changed things a little bit but it really does make a massive difference when you can send on players who are earning £40-50,000 a week. In financial terms we had no right to be on the same pitch, but it didn’t look like that, they certainly didn’t look streets ahead of us, did they?

“I’ve never lost faith in our system and when you can take positives out of games against the likes of West Ham, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Blackpool and Southampton, the best teams in the league, you know you’re doing something right.”