Defeat is hard to take – but we are still on track

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Firstly, losing to QPR was obviously a disappointment, but the result still leaves the Bluebirds in the second automatic promotion slot, and promotion to the Premier League has now to be the club's primary focus for the remainder of the season.

It is what the club has been edging towards for a few years and many feel the team is now strong enough and the time is right to make that important step up.

The QPR defeat is therefore no disaster. To win the Championship would be a pleasant bonus - but it is not essential. Promotion is the goal and the club's season is still very much on track.

Secondly, drawing Stoke City away in the FA Cup?

Opinion in football is usually divided as to whether a team involved in a promotion battle benefits from a good run in the FA Cup. However for the Bluebirds drawing Stoke is in my view a win-win situation for the club.

Whatever the result, the draw will enable the Bluebirds to see how they measure up against one of the most physically strong and difficult-to-beat teams in the whole of the Premier League. Few teams have an easy game at the Britannia Stadium.

It offers Dave Jones and his coaching staff a golden opportunity to learn important lessons for when (hopefully) next season the team has to be pitted against this standard of opposition each week.

If weaknesses are exposed, the club has time to address them. If the Bluebirds manage to do well - then it can only be a cause for encouragement.

And also if only from a financial perspective, a win will do no harm whatsoever.

So, Stoke versus Cardiff in the FA Cup?

No doubt about it - an excellent draw - one that could hardly have been bettered in the circumstances.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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