Cardiff City: 'It's down to players to respond' - boss Harris

Neil Harris
Neil Harris dropped only two points from his first four games after being appointed Cardiff City manager in November

Neil Harris expects Cardiff City to react positively to his midweek criticism when they face Championship leaders Leeds United.

Harris "raised his voice" in the dressing room at Brentford on Wednesday as Cardiff suffered the first defeat of his reign.

He says it is now down to his players to produce a response at Elland Road on Saturday.

"I expect that - that will be the message to the players," said Harris.

"Sometimes that's what professional athletes have to do.

"They've had a bit of criticism from within and externally, I imagine, and it's down to them to respond.

"I am a manager who will always protect my players and support my players, but I am also an honest manager and I didn't think we were quite good enough for an hour the other night.

"Some individuals didn't hit their standards. When you go to Elland Road you have to hit your standards because Leeds are a top, top side."

Harris banked 10 points from his first four Cardiff after succeeding Neil Warnock.

But the former Millwall manager was unimpressed by his team's inability to keep possession at Brentford as well as their failure to compete off the ball.

"You can lose a 50-50 header, but Neil Harris teams don't normally lose second and third balls," he added.

Though he guided Cardiff to their first away win of the season at Nottingham Forest last month, Harris feels there is significant room for improvement on the road.

Leeds have won seven straight games with boss Marcelo Bielsa describing Cardiff as "a very British team".

"British team is probably identifying the team over the last few seasons - a bit more direct, bit more up and at 'em - which I'm fine with, I like front-foot football," Harris said.

"I don't think we are quite there as a front-foot team yet because we are still a little bit reactive in what we're doing, but that does take time.

"Marcelo has said British-based team quite a lot about teams in this division, but it's the English Championship."

'We have to get with the times'

Harris revealed that Tim Henderson has taken over as Cardiff's head of scouting following the departure of Glyn Chamberlain.

"Some decisions were made before I came in that I have come in and supported," Harris said.

"The club wanted a change of direction in a lot of ways.

"A newly-formed department will be going a lot more analytical as well. We have to get with the times."