Playing for a new manager has become such a regular experience for this Leicester side that it is no longer a novelty, but they still mustered a performance of characteristic reinvigoration for the benefit of Ian Holloway on his home debut last night.
Holloway, who controversially quit high-flying Plymouth for his struggling new charges, is the fifth full-time manager at the Walkers Stadium in the current calendar year yet Leicester gave every indication of wanting to do better for him than his most recent predecessors, particularly during a rousing finale. All their efforts lacked was a goal, which was a relief at least to Cardiff's manager, Dave Jones, for whom any point is a precious commodity.
Kasper Schmeichel had produced an extraordinary save to keep Cardiff on level terms midway through an evenly balanced first half. A free-kick whipped in dangerously from the left by Alan Sheehan was flicked on by Iain Hume to find Richard Stearman seemingly unable to miss from a couple of yards out, only for the 21-year-old goalkeeper, on loan from Manchester City, to perform a star jump on the goal-line, thereby making an unlikely block.
Cardiff had threatened to outmuscle the home side but Holloway introduced two teenagers and a 20-year-old in the second half and their fresh legs treated the biggest crowd of the season at the Walkers to an inspired late rally.
"The noise from the crowd brought a lump to my throat," Holloway said, confessing that constant changing of managers had unsettled the club but refusing to blame the chairman, Milan Mandaric. "I'm not going to blame him when I reckon he has finally appointed the right man, am I?" he said.
Leicester City (4-4-2): Fulop; Stearman, Kisnorbo, McAuley, Mattock (Hayes, h-t); Newton (Chambers, 55), Wesolowski (King, 63), Clemence, Sheehan; Hume, Fryatt. Substitutes not used: N'Gotty, Kenton.
Cardiff City (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Gunter, Purse, Loovens, Capaldi; Parry (Whittingham, h-t), Rae, McPhail, Ledley; Hasselbaink (MacLean, 79), Thompson. Substitutes not used: Oakes (gk), Johnson, McNaughton.
Referee: N Miller (Durham).Reuse content