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Steve Morison ‘pleased as punch’ with performance as Cardiff edge Birmingham

Steve Morison’s Cardiff edged victory over Birmingham (Tim Goode/PA)
Steve Morison’s Cardiff edged victory over Birmingham (Tim Goode/PA)

Cardiff manager Steve Morison was “pleased as punch” with his team’s performance as they dominated Birmingham to record a 1-0 Championship win in the south Wales sunshine.

Aston Villa loanee Jaden Philogene scored the only goal of the game for the hosts after 17 minutes and the only disappointment for Morison was that his side did not win more comfortably.

Man of the match Callum O’Dowda was denied twice in the opening stages of the first half after striker Max Watters wasted two golden opportunities before the break and substitute Kion Etete headed wide late on with the goal gaping.

“We were excellent,” said Morison. “In the first half we were tremendous and we started the second half on fire and should have scored another one.

“We went a bit flat after that, but the changes worked. We should have had a couple more but, on the whole, it was a really pleasing performance.”

Philogene’s tap-in from O’Dowda’s cross was enough for the Bluebirds to maintain their 100 per cent league home record after their 1-0 victory over promotion favourites Norwich on the opening day.

Morison added: “We limited Norwich to a very low chance of scoring goals and we did the same against Birmingham. I’m pleased as punch.”

Cardiff have collected six points from a possible nine after defeat at Reading last week and Morison was pleased with their start to what he believes will be a tightly-contested Championship season.

“I think anyone can beat anyone this year,” said the former Wales striker. “I don’t think there’s going to be a Fulham this year – the league is going to be very tight and it’s about stringing results together and getting that consistency.

“Days like today we can enjoy but, obviously, it doesn’t get much tougher than West Brom away on Wednesday.”

New Birmingham boss John Eustace admitted his side were second best for the first half hour, but he believes they should have had a second-half penalty when Cedric Kipre appeared to bring down Scott Hogan.

“I was disappointed with the way we started the game. After half an hour, I thought we were much better and I was really pleased with the reaction of the group after half-time,” said Eustace.

“And the second half was much more competitive and we were more like ourselves.

“I think it was a penalty, but they should also have had a penalty – probably – so the referee has obviously balanced that one out.

“There are no excuses. We weren’t at the races for that first half-an-hour.

“Cardiff are a good team and we were ready for them but, unfortunately, we just didn’t match their intensity for that first half-an-hour and the lads were disappointed.”