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Neil Harris hails ‘lethal’ Kieffer Moore after Cardiff winner at Watford

Watford v Cardiff City – Sky Bet Championship – Vicarage Road
(Image credit: Steven Paston)

Cardiff manager Neil Harris hailed “lethal” Kieffer Moore after his first-half strike secured a 1-0 over Watford at Vicarage Road.

The Wales striker was a towering presence in both penalty areas and showed his predatory instincts when Watford failed to clear a corner two minutes before the break, pouncing to volley what proved to be the matchwinner past Ben Foster.

“Kieffer is not just about goals,” said Harris. “I hope he scores 20 or 30 goals this season, but he’s not a typical 20 or 30 goals a season man, although he’s lethal at the moment.

“We’ve had a lot of words with him on the training pitch and in the office with the laptop about his positional play, second balls and balls around the box.

“At the moment, the ball is finding him as well as him finding the ball.”

Harris was delighted that the Bluebirds had managed to end Watford’s unbeaten home record this season.

“We’ve come to Watford with the players they’ve got, the changes they can make and the different shapes they can play, so it’s a big result and probably the most enjoyable since I’ve been in charge,” he added.

Cardiff will now have hopes of moving up the table and challenging for the play-off places at least.

“Three wins on the spin and a clean sheet mentality is a sign of what we can do,” said Harris.

“There’s a good mentality in the dressing room where the guys know when they need to step up and that’s what they have done in the last seven days. The spirit has been excellent and we’re playing well. That comes from confidence and confidence breeds results.”

The confidence is remarkable bearing in mind that Cardiff had won only one of the eight games before their present run.

“You have seen the work ethic and the way we press,” Harris added. “Continuity helps, having a settled back four. At times we were playing well but not getting the results.”

Watford manager Vladimir Ivic has now seen his team drop off the promotion places after winning only one of their past five games.

He was unhappy that his players had not been able to do more to combat the aerial threat he had warned them about, from Moore and other Cardiff players.

“With two strikers, they were a danger and the best at set pieces and they scored from a set piece,” he said.

“They have four or five players who are dominant in the air, strong guys. But you don’t play football just in the air.

“We need to work and find the reason (for the defeat) as soon as possible because we have only a few days to prepare for the next game.”

Watford welcomed 1,973 fans back to Vicarage Road, the first time fans had been present since the 3-0 victory over Liverpool in February. This was a very different experience and they sat in the seats despondently at the end waiting to be let out.

“I said for us we are happy to have fans back. They try to support us to the end but it was not a good result for us and none of us is happy about it,” Ivic said.

“The players know what we expect from them and what they need to do but some of our lads lacked confidence today. That is not to find an excuse. If you are on the pitch you are ready to play.”