Will Vaulks: Cardiff City 'horrible' to play against once more thanks to Mick McCarthy

Will Vaulks, who has started all seven of Cardiff's games under Mick McCarthy, celebrates his goal in last week's win at Luton
Will Vaulks, who has started all seven of Cardiff's games under Mick McCarthy, celebrates his goal in last week's win at Luton

Midfielder Will Vaulks says Mick McCarthy has proved doubters wrong by reminding Cardiff City's players of what they do best.

The decision to appoint McCarthy after Neil Harris left Cardiff in January was not universally welcomed.

But the Bluebirds have since claimed 17 points from seven games.

"We are horrible to play against, we are physical, we run further than other teams, we win our battles, but we also have quality now," said Vaulks, 27.

"The quality we now have on top of that solid foundation, why do we need to change what Cardiff have done before? Not every football team should play out from the back.

"It suits me to say that because I wouldn't play that style, necessarily. But the gaffer is by no means just a long-ball manager. It's just whatever it takes to win a football game and that's what people forget.

"Win the game of football first. If that means turning it behind there back four, being direct, or slowing the game down, then great. Win the game.

"I think he's just got Cardiff back to what we're good at. Why can't we be the best in the league at what we do?"

A run of five straight league defeats saw Harris lose his job, with Cardiff 15th in the Championship and 13 points adrift of the play-off places when McCarthy took over.

Their superb recent form leaves one place and three points behind sixth-placed Bournemouth, who McCarthy's side face on Wednesday.

"He's done nothing drastic, but his man-management skills have got everyone going in the same direction," added Wales international Vaulks.

"He's put confidence back into players. It's easy to think you're a good player, but you also need someone to reassure you of that, especially when we weren't doing well previously.

"He and TC (assistant boss Terry Connor) have come in and just lifted the whole place."

Cardiff were beaten in the play-off semi-finals last year after a sparkling late-season run saw them move into the top six.

After beginning this campaign with lofty ambitions, Vaulks says Cardiff's recent run has merely put them somewhere closer to where they feel they should be.

"We've all checked the table," he said.

"This is where we wanted to be however many games ago. What we've done recently is just put ourselves into a position where we believe we should have been. As a club, it wouldn't have been a great year if we weren't in and around this position.

"We've had to work hard to get back to our baseline. Now we need to grasp it and keep the momentum going. Let's kick on and aim for higher up the league."

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