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Wales Online
Wales Online
Glen Williams

How Cardiff City have prepared for the South Wales derby as videos circulate and individual meetings held

Much has been made about Cardiff City's build-up to South Wales derbies in recent years.

Whenever a derby is lost, it is easy to throw a 'they don't get it' tag at them. When Cardiff win, though, all that seems to be forgotten.

But it is clear in the build-up to this particular derby, Cardiff are at pains to convey all the work which has gone into drilling this new-look squad with information about this historic fixture. They want to leave no stone unturned.

READ MORE: Cardiff City news as decision made over Jack Simpson red card appeal

Bluebirds skipper Joe Ralls, who this Sunday will play his sixth South Wales derby, knows more than most what this encounter means. Having been involved in only one victory, he is desperate to better that record when the two teams meet at the Stadium.

Ralls has even taken it upon himself to pull players aside and have individual conversations about what the derby means to the club and its passionate fans.

"I've had conversations with a lot of the boys, especially after the last couple of results we've had. We are lucky in the respect that we have had a couple of bad results but we have an opportunity on Sunday to put that to bed," Ralls said.

"I know what this game means to the supporters; if we go and win there on Sunday, previous games will be forgotten about. We have got a great opportunity to get our season going again.

"I've been speaking to boys individually. Huds [Mark Hudson] has had meetings already and we will be fully focussed and ready for the game.

"I've just been trying to give off my experiences in the games and to help them to make sure they are ready for it.

"I, more than anyone, would love to go there and get a result for the fans. We haven't been good enough in recent derbies, but we have a great opportunity to go there and put it right. I know the boys are ready to go there and put in a performance."

The club's social media output has been noticeably ramped up this time around, with videos of games and goals from the recent to not-so-recent past being posted online in the lead-up to the game.

And Ralls said even the players have been sharing those videos among themselves in derby week.

"There has been plenty (of videos) circulating throughout the club," he added. "I'm sure the boys will have seen plenty of previous encounters from over the years, even before my time.

"We are all tuning in, we all know how big of a game it is. Huds, myself, no one will let the boys take it lightly. We will be going in ready for the fixture. I expect us to be ready."

Cardiff has been home for Ralls for more than a decade now. He is more qualified than anyone on the playing and coaching staff to convey what this game means to the people who support the club.

On Sunday, he gets the chance to captain the club for the first time in this storied fixture and he would love nothing more than to skipper the Bluebirds to victory.

"It would be amazing. That's what I hope for and that's what we will be going into the game looking to do," he said.

"The whole focus has been on this game since Wednesday. I have no doubt it has been in the back of people's minds for a couple of weeks now, but we have a great opportunity to go there and make up for previous results and lay down a marker for ourselves and what we can do as a team."


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