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Mick McCarthy content with Cardiff display after ‘big three points’ at Blackpool

Brentford v Cardiff City – Sky Bet Championship – Brentford Community Stadium
(Image credit: John Walton)

Cardiff boss Mick McCarthy said he had no cause for complaint after two second-half strikes secured a 2-0 win at newly-promoted Blackpool and the Bluebirds’ first three points of the fresh campaign.

The visitors – who had been held 1-1 at home by Barnsley in their opening clash of the 2021/22 season – were on top from the off, with Aden Flint, Ryan Giles and James Collins all going close in a frantic first half at Bloomfield Road.

Any fears that Cardiff were to rue their lack of cutting edge in front of goal were put to bed within seven minutes of the restart, with Leandro Bacuna heading home from close range after meeting Sean Morrison’s flick-on.

And as Blackpool piled forward in search for an equaliser substitute striker Kieffer Moore wrapped up the win for McCarthy’s men four minutes from time, finishing off a pinpoint cross from Giles to send the travelling fans into raptures.

McCarthy said: “I could get a bit anxious about a few things, but overall it’s not worth it. What’s the point? We’ve put in a terrific shift collectively and this is a big three points for us.

“I knew Blackpool would be competitive and they have momentum from getting promoted, so it was always going to be a tough day. It’s great to get off the mark and I thought we were good value for the result.

“I thought James Collins was immense – he just works his socks off. He’s chased the centre-halves around all day and he’s just bullied them.

“I knew that bringing Kieffer on with 20 minutes left could make a difference and that’s been proven. He opens up chances for us and really puts himself about. He really deserved his goal.”

Blackpool had been hoping to build on a point earned against Bristol City last time out, but head coach Neil Critchley admitted they were second best back on home soil.

Luke Garbutt, Jerry Yates and Josh Bowler couldn’t make the most of the Seasiders’ rare sights of goal, but 42-year-old Critchley believes there is more to come from his side during their first season back in the Championship after a six-year absence.

“It’s been a difficult day for us and a bit of a wake-up call,” he said. “It was definitely a tough day at the office and we probably can’t have too many complaints.

“The lads have given it everything against a really strong, well-organised Cardiff side, but of course that hasn’t been quite enough for us today.

“I can’t fault the application from the players, we were at it from the start but a few little errors or mistakes prove so costly at this level. That’s all part of the learning curve.

“We had one or two moments ourselves when we could have done better or grabbed a goal, but that quality you need at this level was missing.

“They scored a really good counter-attacking goal to make it 2-0 towards the end, and I suppose I’ve got no qualms with the result in the end.”