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Big game on Saturday against Cardiff. Billy Grant catches up with Cardiff fan Simon Richards (@SJRichards79) to talk Russell Slade, the return of the Bluebird and the prospect of the West Country derby next season with Bristol City
Must be a relief. Since the last time we played, you not only got your blue kit back but you also got yer bluebird back.
A massive relief. It’s hard to quantify just how detrimental an affect changing colours had on the club. On a personal level I fell out of love with a club I had supported from boyhood and on the terraces fan was pitched against fellow fan.
When I mention this to non football fans they think it’s crazy that us lot can be put out so much by simply changing a club’s colours but it was as though all our history (good and bad) was simply consigned to the rubbish bin when we ran out in red, all at the whim of one of the most egotistical men to grace a football ground in this country, and that’s saying something.
We’ve also got a nice new bluebird on our badge, alongside a rather strange looking oriental dragon that looks more ringworm than dragon.
Quite a few of us were mighty surprised Vincent Tan employed Russell Slade. He wasn’t very popular when we came down there in December.But since then he seems to have got his feet under the table, bringing in a few of ‘his’ players like Simon Moore (who he tried to get on loan when he was at Orient) and Kadeem Harris (who he would have know from his loan spell at Brentford when he was at Orient). Do you think Russell will be celebrating like he won the cup (referring to this .. link) at 5pm?
Simon Moore and Kadeem Harris were both here long before Slade arrived
Russell Slade, fresh from his latest stint on hit comedy Stella, is not the most popular of managers down here. The general consensus is that he’s been given a job that’s simply to big for him both in size of club and level of football.
His transfer policy thus far seems to revolve around shunting out  any of our ball players ( Javi Guerra, Jo Inge Berget,Magnus Wolff Eikrem, Mats Moller Daehli and Juan Cala ), players with international pedigree, bringing in lower league journey men with a stereotypical ‘harworking’ label.
While the results that have come with his tenure have been less than impressive  it has to be noted that he was tasked with wiping some £12 million off the club’s wage bill while also bringing together a side that could compete in Europe’s most competitive league.
On the whole it seems that he’s been bought in to trim the fat at Cardiff while Vincent Tan looks for a buyer so on that front he’s been a huge success and for that reason you have to feel for Slade. This is his big chance and he’s no more than a glorified liquidator. 

You’ve had a so so set of results since Xmas. The best result in our eyes would probably beating F*lham 1-0. Other than that, you’ve lost against Watford 4-2, Norwich 3-2, Boro 2-1. How is your season looking?
We’re in a mad race for 9th place – that’s as exciting as it’s going to get, but we’ve won our biggest victory which was a return to Blue. To be honest I’m quite looking forward to mid table anonymity after a few years of madness =  Cup final defeats, play off defeats, last minute capitulations and relegation. So we can watch the crazyness of the final Championship game of the season with a beer in hand and a bluebird on our chest.
Assuming you’re not going up this season … and will avoid relegation, are you looking forward to your derby with Bristol City next season?
Lots of fans class the derby against Bristol as even bigger, and sometimes more vitriolic , than our games against the Jacks. I suppose the added element of nationality comes into this derby and can often cause it to simmer over.
I love derbies. It’s what football is all about, and this one is no different and now that it seems we wont be playing Swansea for a while we’d better make the most of it.
Next season. What’s the plan???
Vincent Tan will sell us to Paddy Power. In turn they’ll launch a PR drive which will see the club only fielding players that are born within 10 miles of the blarney stone and are called Paddy. We’ll win the league by 28 points after we unearth an Irish Pele .