Cardiff City hard work begins now, says boss Russell Slade

Cardiff defender Sean Morrison applauds the travelling fans after the win at Forest
Cardiff defender Sean Morrison applauds the travelling fans after the win at Forest

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade believes the club has stabilised after a turbulent season, but warned there is "hard work" ahead.

The Bluebirds finished the season in 11th place in the Championship after a 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest.

It was a season that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked as manager, rows over the club's livery and a continuing legal dispute over historic debts.

"That's the close of this season and the hard work begins really," he said.

"The busy work begins in the summer as we try and form a group together.

"You saw the focus and the unity even with nothing to play for today.

"I keep saying the group is growing in unity and if we can add to that with a little bit of quality I think we can be a force.

"It's difficult to put a number on it but there will be changes, inevitably.

"It could be a very exciting season next season... I really do think it could be.

"We've regrouped as a football club and we've done that mid-table.

"We all want better than that, we all want more than that but we have regrouped, we have stabilised and now it's time to move forward."

Goals from Joe Ralls and Eoin Doyle ensured that Cardiff ended the season on a high note, despite the Welsh side finishing with 10 men after goalkeeper David Marshall was sent-off for pushing his head into the face of Forest defender Jamaal Lascelles.

"I'll have to look at it again, but I think it's been a little rush of blood from David, they've eyeballed each other," Slade added.

"Unfortunately that's right in the vision of the referee [Peter Bankes] and he's seen it clearly enough to give him [Marshall] a red card... you can't react, that's the problem.

"But I still thought we'd done enough [to win] and the fact that we had that two-goal advantage meant that we still had that little bit of comfort.

"We have been strong away from home; when you look at our last nine results, we've been unbeaten in eight of them.

"I thought we played some super football first half and got ourselves two really good goals, and deserved to be in the lead because we were bossing most of the game.

"We want to be winning games and we want to be making progress, and I'm pleased with what we've done away from home.

"I wish we could demonstrate that sort of performance at home, but that's what we've got to nail down.

"That will be the challenge next season."