Honest Whites adversary Neil Harris faces up to Cardiff City weaknesses ahead of Leeds United test

NEIL Harris says his Cardiff City side remain a work in progress and one susceptible to mistakes ahead of Saturday's Championship clash against old foes Leeds United at Elland Road.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 3:48 pm
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:58 pm
NEW VENTURE: Former Millwall manager and now Cardiff City boss Neil Harris reacts during his second game in charge of the Bluebirds which resulted in a 1-0 victory at home to Stoke City. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

Former Millwall manager Harris succeeded Neil Warnock in the Cardiff hotseat on November 16 and the 42-year-old has tasted only one defeat in five league games since.

Harris was unbeaten as Bluebirds boss heading to Wednesday night's clash at Brentford but his side missed the chance to move level on points with the teams in the play-offs through a 2-1 reverse.

Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa has already paid Harris a compliment ahead of Saturday's clash at Elland Road, admitting results had improved under his guidance of a very 'British team'.

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But Harris says there remains plenty for him to work on at Cardiff with the Bluebirds boss identifying definite areas of concern in his side's mid-week loss at Brentford.

Reflecting on Bielsa's analysis of his work at Cardiff, Harris told WalesOnline: "It’s a compliment in the sense that he has read the stats and that myself and the team have made an impact we have made over the last few weeks.

"‘British team’ is probably identifying the team over the last few seasons. A bit more direct. A bit more up and at ‘em. Which I’m fine with, I like front-foot football.

"I don’t think we are quite there as a front-foot team yet because we are still a little bit reactive in what we’re doing. But that does take time and will take weeks.

"I think we have shown quality that we can play. We’ve got good players.

"We are still making mistakes with the ball. The turnover the other night was a big problem for us.

"As much as I don’t want to accept it, I have to accept we are going to get things slightly wrong. But we are moving in the right direction.

"Marcelo has said ‘British-based team’ quite a lot about teams in this division, but it’s the English Championship."

Leeds sit top of that Championship and ahead of second-placed West Brom on goal difference following a run of seven straight victories whereas Cardiff approach Saturday's date at Elland Road in ninth.

Harris was a regular nemesis of United's whilst in charge of Millwall but the Bluebirds boss is under no illusions about the size of the task in store at Elland Road.

"These are a top, top side," said Harris.

"This year they are there again (top), ultimately they have one of the best squads in the division. You also have to deal with Elland Road. As a player and a manager I love going there. I expect to see a reaction.

“At the moment Leeds and West Brom look like the two best teams. Fulham, on their day, are exceptional but they have been a lot less consistent.

“West Brom and Leeds have been the most consistent sides and that’s what makes it the best challenge and it’s one we can look forward to.

“There is less expectation on our shoulders than normal. Sometimes the players can play with a bit more freedom.

“Brentford dominated possession the other night in really good areas and what was key was that the possession stats and passes made were identical in each other’s halves. Leeds will have a lot of the ball but what they do with it is key to them."