Neil Harris: Play-off pressure on Fulham, says Cardiff City boss

Danny Ward celebrates with Josh Murphy after scoring Cardiff's thrid goal against Hull
Danny Ward celebrates with Josh Murphy after scoring Cardiff's thrid goal against Hull

Neil Harris says the pressure is on Fulham ahead of their play-off semi-final clash with his Cardiff City side.

Cardiff finished fifth in the Championship after a 3-0 win over Hull and will face Fulham in the play-offs with the first leg in Cardiff.

Harris says the money taken to assemble Scott Parker's squad means Fulham must handle the weight of expectation.

"We are the form side in the play-offs, but the league table doesn't lie," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"The message is clear now. We get into the play-offs and extend our season when everyone else is on holiday and you do that for one reason only and that's to win. No other reason.

"There is a little bit of pressure on us but there is huge pressure on Fulham, a team that should be in the Premier League with the money that they have spent and even now are spending. We will go and enjoy it."

Cardiff could yet meet Welsh rivals Swansea in the play-off final after a remarkable climax to the regular season saw them sneak into the play-offs.

Sean Morrison scored for the second successive game as Cardiff eased past Hull
Sean Morrison scored for the second successive game as Cardiff eased past Hull

Cardiff's rivals won 4-1 at Reading while Nottingham Forest were beaten 4-1 at home by Stoke, meaning Swansea drew level on 70 points with the City Ground side and overcame a five-goal deficit in the goal difference column in the process.

Harris admits he had not believed both Welsh clubs could make it.

"I didn't see that happening, that we would both get in the play-offs, I just couldn't see us both getting there. I just couldn't see it. But both Welsh clubs deserve it," he added.

Harris feels Swansea, like Fulham and Brentford, will be less troubled than Cardiff by a lack of fans in attendance, with games played behind-closed-doors due to coronavirus.

"I would have liked our fans to have been there tonight," Harris added.

"We would have had a sell-out tonight and they would have carried us through. They deserve a special mention.

"We might feel the loss of fans more in the play-offs.

"We do now lose something not having the fans. No disrespect to the other teams, but we have the most passionate fan base of the teams in the play-offs. Teams would fear coming here and maybe we wouldn't feel the same way going away."

Harris also could not resist a dig at Forest after the row between the sides over winger Albert Adomah, who was recalled by his parent club last month.

"I heard people talking about Sabri Lamouchi four weeks ago as the manager of the year in the Championship, they've finished seventh," Harris added.

"They stopped us keeping Albert Adomah to take an advantage over us… It is a crazy league."

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