Cardiff City Neil Harris Press Conference

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Any more light on Mendez-Laing?
"Firstly, I am happy to try and answer as much as I can but I have to be very careful due to legal purposes.

"I can confirm that Nathaniel’s contract was terminated because of a serious breach of contract and that’s all I can say.

"I can’t add any more to it at the moment.

"Time will tell if anything else can be announced, but I am bound by legal protocols."

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Were you part of the decision?
"I was. The severity of it, I was consulted. I have an excellent relationship with the board and the owner.

"It is a football club decision and I am a part of the club.

"Yes [I am comfortable with it]."


Have you spoken to him?
"I’ve not spoken to him over the last 48 hours but I had a great working relationship with him and my working relationship goes beyond the training pitch.

"I speak to them on the phone about on-field matters and off-field matters.

"Mendy, I spoke to him in weeks gone by but not the last 48 hours."


Is this a decision taken over a period of time or last few days?
"It’s a decision that hasn’t been taken lightly, it’s a serious decision.

"A lot of thought has gone into it but ultimately a decision was taken for the best interest of Cardiff City Football Club."


Is your door open to him?
"Yeah. Danny Ward left us in the summer and I got on extremely well with him. Players I managed at Millwall.

"People need someone to lean on and advise. With Mendez, yes the door will always be open."


Club has a duty of care, no alternative than sacking?
"A decision has been made, one that is best for the football club and its supporters.

"I can’t say anymore. I will feel like I’m stepping over the boundaries if I do."


PFA involved?
"Of course, the PFA represent players and they are a voice of reason. They are always there to offer advice and support to their players and played a big part of this.

"They were informed and part of it."
 
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Eat Y'self Fitter

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Last thing you need, how much of a blow to preparations?
"As of now, no, because Mendez was an important player and a good player at the level, but he doesn’t work for us anymore or doesn’t play for us anymore.

"We have prepared diligently over the summer. Sheyi Ojo is in the building and looking very good in training.

"Competition for places in attacking positions is fine.

"I spoke to the players this morning and addressed the situation, they were great. We are now fully focused on Sheffield Wednesday and ready for the league campaign.

"The players had the best day’s training since the day before Fulham in the second leg of the play-offs."


Players’ reaction?
"The players care about team-mates and they care about the industry they work in and understand the comings and goings in professional football.

"Some senior players have been given as much knowledge as can be afforded to them and they have been very understanding.

"Today, we quickly refocused and are ready and prepared for Saturday.

"That is the clear message for everybody. A really exciting season and a really exciting squad."


Is Sheyi Ojo a replacement or was that decided before any of this?
"I’m going to separate that a little bit.

"Sheyi as a player, in his style of play, a left-footed wide player and a No.10, who was vitally important to add.

"It’s a position I wanted to add, a left-footed attacker, and a bit of flair and he has that.

"He has a healthy work ethic and he is a player that he has high hopes for moving forward."


What have you told players is the aim?
"We don’t get too far in front of ourselves, but we have to embrace the expectation.

"If the media, our fans and ourselves feel like a top-six finish is attainable with this squad, we should embrace that.

"There will be ups and downs during the season, but ultimately, come the last game we want to be a top-six side.

"We would like consistency throughout the season, but that’s difficult in the Championship.

"We expect to be in and around that top six for the majority of the season."
 

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Does this feel like your squad now?
"It’s heading that way. I’ve had a chance to add players to it. It’s not been a major overhaul.

"It does take time in transfer windows.

"You adjust as you go. I have changed a lot in the last nine months and there are things I want to change moving forward.

"But the players I have at the moment have fantastic attributes."


Incoming business finished?
"Quite possibly. There are four weeks left, so that’s quite a long time not to do anything.

"What I will say I'm always following the markets, speaking to agents and football clubs, recruitment departments.

"If a player becomes available we really wanted or a position we wanted then there might be a possibility of doing something.

"Will we not lose any players? I doubt that. There’s still a lot to go under the bridge.

"I’m pleased to bring in the lads we have and we are aware of financial constraints."


Etheridge to Birmingham?
"Very advanced. He didn’t train today as we gave him permission, so you have a clue there of how advanced it is.

"I wouldn’t be surprised to see Neil at Birmingham in the coming days.

"There is a good transfer fee involved, I’m led to believe. He’s a good Championship goalkeeper and there will be a decent sized transfer fee."


Who is not available?
"Very pleased with Ralls and Tomlin progress in the last few days. Northampton would have been a step too far for them.

"Both are hugely important players in my group.

"They have great attributes so we didn’t take a risk last week but both have trained this week.

"Chance for Saturday? Yes. There is a chance for both of them to be involved, but I’ll be making those decisions tomorrow.

"Nobody else. Isaac Vassell, he is back running again, really pleased for him.

"Gavin Whyte came back from Northern Ireland with a tight hamstring, so touch and go for Saturday."
 

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Fans won’t be there, message for them?
"Firstly, it is a shame they won’t be there. We miss them. We missed them in the play-off games.

"Stick with it. It’s tough times for everybody. Enjoy watching your team this year. We want to keep improving and my aim is to improve my team and make sure there is a team on the pitch they are proud to call their own."


Sheffield Wednesday, what are you expecting?
"They start with -12, so mentally tough for them or play with some freedom.

"I can’t control that, what I can control is where they finished last season, with a 3-5-2 and pre-season they played that.

"They’ve got a lot of experience in the Championship and streamlined their squad.

"They are a team that were third in the division back in December, but we beat them. I expect a better team than the back half of last season."


Do you feel let down?
"I don’t think it’s a time for reflection for me personally.

"We need to take time to digest what’s going on and I’ve spent my time focusing on my players and giving my all to them for what is a tough fixture.

"It’s been a difficult period.

"But I’m really looking forward to Saturday now."


Doesn’t make the team more vulnerable?
"I don’t do social media so I don’t follow that, I’m sure there’s a lot of debate.

"I have to separate myself from that, my players do too.

"But training today was immense, so we all move on now as a group."


Duty of care towards a player, Nathaniel left Peterborough under a cloud, two strikes and out or does he have a future?
"That’s not for me to answer at the moment. I think Nathaniel has proven himself to be a very good player at this level.

"Only time will tell what the future holds.

"It’s important now that I separate myself from those conversations and focus on the players working under me now.

"The turnaround between yesterday’s news and Saturday… I have to focus on that now."
 

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Young men make mistakes, like Gareth Southgate says. Do you agree with that?
"I’m not going to talk about Mendez in connection with Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood.

"Those two apologised for doing something wrong, two very young footballers.

"Connecting that with what’s happened with us, I’ve not got a comment to make on that."


Short turnaround from the Fulham game, so close last season, what have you taken out of that going into this season?
"We take solace in the fact that, against Fulham we were so close.

"The nine games post lockdown, six victories against good teams, it shows we have got a competitive squad and that we have good attributes that make us a good team.

"Depth in the squad, yes, I always want more. It showed us we had a good mentality as well.

"We take pride and great hope from the run we had to get into the play-offs."


That's it from Harris
That's all then from the boss.

As expected, plenty of questions about Mendez-Laing.

But also an interesting development on Neil Etheridge

Source - Cardiff City press conference live as Neil Harris speaks after Mendez-Laing exit - https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/breaking-cardiff-mendez-laing-live-18904927
 
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Travis Bickle

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Young men make mistakes, like Gareth Southgate says. Do you agree with that?
"I’m not going to talk about Mendez in connection with Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood.

"Those two apologised for doing something wrong, two very young footballers.

"Connecting that with what’s happened with us, I’ve not got a comment to make on that."


Short turnaround from the Fulham game, so close last season, what have you taken out of that going into this season?
"We take solace in the fact that, against Fulham we were so close.

"The nine games post lockdown, six victories against good teams, it shows we have got a competitive squad and that we have good attributes that make us a good team.

"Depth in the squad, yes, I always want more. It showed us we had a good mentality as well.

"We take pride and great hope from the run we had to get into the play-offs."


That's it from Harris
That's all then from the boss.

As expected, plenty of questions about Mendez-Laing.

But also an interesting development on Neil Etheridge

Source - Cardiff City press conference live as Neil Harris speaks after Mendez-Laing exit - https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/breaking-cardiff-mendez-laing-live-18904927
Excellent article, I like his interviews, he talks a lot of sense
 

Face Paint

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So he signed a replacement for NML? so not a extra addition to the squad then? Just saying like. So really just the two signings then?
 

QuantumMechanic

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You've only got to look at most pundits to see a wierd way of talking. Mostly due to the fact they aren't the sharpest tools in the toolbox.
 

Nugent

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Etheridge to Birmingham, you heard it here first.
Itk
LeAdEr.
 

Face Paint

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He didn't say Ojo was signed as a replacement. He said Ojo was a left footer, can play number 10 which was what he wanted to bring in.
That's fair enough but he knew NML was out the door long ago, so are we getting a replacement for him then If ojo is not?
 

QuantumMechanic

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That's fair enough but he knew NML was out the door long ago, so are we getting a replacement for him then If ojo is not?
We don't know when Harris knew NML was out the door. He may well be looking for a replacement now or given Sang's recent emergence in pre-season feel comfortable with what he has.
 

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