Sabri Lamouchi orders Cardiff players to rest after lethargic draw with Stoke
Cardiff boss Sabri Lamouchi has ordered his players to rest after blaming tiredness for their lacklustre 1-1 draw with Stoke.
The Bluebirds remain firmly in the grip of the Sky Bet Championship relegation battle after failing to follow up an excellent 3-1 midweek win at Watford.
The Welsh club were lethargic and lacking in ideas for much of the 90 minutes – though Stoke were also very average throughout a match low on quality.
Cardiff were left to rue a 61st-minute penalty miss by Guinean striker Sory Kaba after Connor Taylor brought down Cardiff substitute Jadon Philogene.
Kaba had earlier equalised Josh Laurent’s 16th-minute headed opener from Will Smallbone’s corner for the visitors.
Lamouchi said: “We didn’t see a lot of energy from both teams. We are all tired.
“Of course (a point) is better than nothing. A few weeks ago, it was terrible for us. Sunderland, no points, Swansea, no points. So, today, the performance and the result, I’m happy with the point, but probably my players deserved three points.
“We can say after the second half and the penalty we were better in the game.
“When you start the game and the first corner, first goal…
“But both teams, we saw not a lot of energy – but six games in three weeks is terrible for them.”
Lamouchi revealed he has told his players to make full use of every moment they have to rest, admitting managing injuries is the priority.
He added: “Every day I have a bad surprise and players have problems. We have to manage and check day after day, game after game.
“Because, tired or not tired, I have to put the best team to get the best result and the maximum points. We are close to the end, three games.”
Lamouchi refused to blame Kaba’s penalty miss for the failure to claim a victory that would have been priceless in his side’s bid to beat the drop.
“It’s part of football,” he said.
“He scored an important goal and I was happy with his performance.”
Stoke boss Alex Neil says he is already looking towards next season.
The former Sunderland manager said: “There wasn’t much in it, but we ground out a point which was fair.
“I will use the next game to see what I’m going to do in the summer, to see who wants to be part of it next season, who has the appetite.”
Neil praised the Stoke supporters who, despite a mediocre season, roared on their side throughout in the Welsh capital.
“Away from home we’ve put some really good performances together but we simply haven’t done well enough at home,” he said.
“The fans have been brilliant. We’re hopeful we can give them something to shout about next season.”
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