'Outfought, outrun and outcompeted' – Neil Harris' scathing Cardiff City assessment as he confirms new signing is imminent

The Bluebirds were dumped out of the competition at the first time of asking in a 3-0 drubbing at Sixfields Stadium

A seething Neil Harris delivered a scathing assessment of Cardiff City's performance in the 3-0 Carabao Cup defeat by Northampton Town.

The Bluebirds were blown away by their League One opposition, starting poorly before putting in a woeful second-half display at Sixfields Stadium.

"I don't think the system was an issue, I think personal duels was an issue," Harris said after the match.

"Outfought, outrun, outbattled, outcompeted. It doesn't matter what system you play, if you lose your duels in a football match, you're going to lose nine games out of 10."

Harris claimed his team went about the game like a pre-season friendly, while the Cobblers treated it like a cup final and, ultimately, it was that desire to win and be better than their opposite number which earned them a spot in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

It is the manner in which City simply surrendered which particularly irked the City manager, who could not hide his disappointment.

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"I learned a lot about some of my players today," he added. "The majority of that is not for the good."

Asked if some players had played themselves out of contention for next week, Harris replied: "Well, quite possibly.

"But I don't make knee-jerk reactions and I don't come and belittle my players. It was a poor performance and there is food for thought for next week.

"Some of them haven't done themselves any favours today, of course they haven't, with a poor performance. But you don't judge players over one 90 minutes in the cup before the Championship season starts, you judge them over the course of the nine months I've been in charge and some of them are a lot better players than they showed today."

While the result in Northampton was not what City fans expected, particularly given the terrific end of the season for the Welsh club and a very good pre-season, there is a glimmer of hope heading into next week's Championship opener against Sheffield Wednesday.

Kieffer Moore, Callum Paterson and Will Vaulks will be back from their international jaunt, while Joe Ralls and Lee Tomlin might work their way into the reckoning following injuries.

Crucially, though, there could be another new signing in the building before then.

Harris has confirmed he is in talks to sign an attacking player and revealed after the game that he expects his third signing of the summer to be through the door by Monday.

"I expect somebody in the building Monday, just to freshen the group up again," Harris said.

"Today, we were light in the squad, for reasons like international call-ups, great credit to the players, and other boys missing through various reasons.

"It'll be great to get the group back together next week. The young lads have done really well - I thought Tom Sang was excellent when he came on - but some of those are not quite ready to be in the group.

"We will bring more seniors back in the group and the standard of training rises again and the standard within the group and they are the standards I'll be expecting next week against Sheffield Wednesday."

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