Halfway point of the season is reached for Preston North End at Cardiff
Preston North End’s season reaches the halfway mark when they head to Wales to face Cardiff City tomorrow.
Once they have faced the Bluebirds in front of the Sky cameras, Alex Neil’s men will have had a taste of everyone in the Championship.
Then starts the second half of the campaign at Leeds on Boxing Day.
Cardiff boss Neil Harris is in a different boat in terms of who he has played and not played.
Harris changed jobs in the autumn, leaving Millwall in October and pitching-up in South Wales five weeks later.
So he has already had one battle with North End this season, that coming on the opening day at The Den.
Essex boy Harris was the choice of the Bluebirds to replace Neil Warnock who stepped down in November after three years in the job.
Warnock went in the wake of a 1-0 home defeat to Bristol City and Harris had filled the vacancy within a week.
He has had a more than decent start, winning three, drawing two and losing one of his six games to date.
At Leeds last Saturday, it looked like a second defeat was on the cards for Harris as Cardiff trailed 3-0 to Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
However, they staged a stunning fightback to earn a 3-3 draw.
Lee Tomlin, Sean Morrison and Robert Glaztel scored for the Welsh outfit.
Morrison was sent off soon after scoring, Cardiff down to 10 men when Glaztel equalised.
Understandably, Harris was delighted with his side’s comeback at Leeds.
Harris said: “I’m really proud of them. They didn’t throw the towel in.
“Even at 3-0 they kept going, they kept the belief.
“Leeds outclassed us in the first 52 minutes. We made a tactical change then to switch Tomlin and Joe Ralls over and it gave us a foothold.
“The fourth goal was key, getting back to 3-1 on the front foot. I knew the crowd would get edgy at 3-2.”
The Bluebirds did appeal the red card shown to Morrison at Leeds but that was rejected by the FA on Wednesday, the skipper now banned for three matches.
With fellow centre-half Aden Flint having limped off before half-time at Elland Road, Harris will have to dip into the squad for replacements. Sol Bamba could come back in, having recovered from a knee injury sustained last season.
The first half of this season has been one of adjustment for Cardiff after coming down from the Premier League.
They spent one season back in the top flight but were only two points shy of safety when relegated.
In the summer they wheeled and dealed, Kenneth Zohere sold to West Bromwich for big money and Bruno Manga went to Dijon for £3m.
Centre-back Flint came from Middlesbrough for £4m, with Glaztel joining from German side Heidenheim in a £5m switch.
Joe Ralls and Danny Ward are joint leading league scorers with five goals.