When they work, substitutions can bring spectacular success. When they fail, they can do so dreadfully. Such was the case for the Cardiff City manager, Dave Jones, regarding his decision to replace Kevin McNaughton at right-back with an 18-year-old, Adam Matthews. Cardiff had escaped with a warning in the first half when Connor Wickham went down under a Gabor Gyepes shove and the referee ruled in the Hungarian defender's favour. After the break, however, Matthews headed a Carlos Edwards cross past his own goalkeeper and then failed to clear before Jason Scotland beat David Marshall.
Jones lamented the mistakes and warned Matthews that he will have to bounce back quickly.
"There is no hiding place in this world and at this level," Jones said. "It is a good job he is a young player and he has a long time to get over it. We all score own goals but you are taught as a young boy to head the ball high and wide and away from goal. He has been caught again for the second goal. It is one you will mull over many times but you can't let it affect you. We ain't got time to mollycoddle anybody, so he has to learn quick. It was an opportunity for him when Kevin went off, to keep that shirt. Kevin McNaughton was injured and he left nothing in the tank. You are as good as your bench is and people have to stake their claims."
Jones added: "Other players didn't show enough about them to take the game to them."
The Ipswich manager, Roy Keane, was delighted that his side had taken their anger from a midweek defeat at home to the Championship leaders, QPR, and turned it into positive energy.
"It was a good performance, a good game and a good victory and we deserved it after the first 10 minutes when we were under a lot of pressure," he said. "The players reacted well and I knew they would against a good Cardiff team.
"Cardiff were missing some important players but they are still a handful. You have to play these teams at the right time. For the first 10 minutes we could not get out of the box never mind the half but we stuck at it, which you have to do."
An interesting sub-plot was 17-year-old Wickham's tussle with Gyepes. The teenager won, hands down. "Connor and Jason [Scotland] gave us that foundation with their work rate and hold up play," said Keane. "'Presence' is a good word for Connor. The top players have presence. He gives us something different. Connor has a bit of everything and we are pleased with him. In an ideal world I would like to hold him back but we didn't get the players we wanted so we have to use him."
Although Marton Fulop made a good save from Peter Whittingham and an easy one from Andy Keogh, Ipswich were not seriously threatened.Reuse content