Manager Mick McCarthy gives an update on Cardiff City keeper Alex Smithies after he was strangely taken ill and carried off the pitch.
There were worrying scenes on Saturday afternoon as Smithies left the field of play on the ninth minute in what played out to be mysterious circumstances.
The 30 year old needed treatment at Ashton Gate, putting his hand up to signal that he needed attention, before medical staff rushed on.
— WalesOnline (@WalesOnline) February 6, 2021
Well since then, Mick McCarthy has lets fans know more on his keeper, saying he’s at a loss and baffled at it all.
The delay saw eight minutes of added time in the first half, with Smithies having his blood pressure taken before then going off on a stretcher after slouching beside the post – before being replaced by Dillon Phillips.
McCarthy said that it seems the cause of his illness is still a mystery and that he didn’t go to hospital.
hope alex smithies is good👍 pic.twitter.com/8fSoH7BsOl
— 🇵🇱🇵🇱 (@joeeedcfc) February 6, 2021
“I’ve just been in to see him with the physio,” Mick McCarthy boss said on the Cardiff keeper. “He’s sat up and we don’t know if he’s had an allergy or something.
“I don’t think so. They all had the pre-match meal and it was all the same stuff. I doubt that very much.
“He looked very ill at the time. He was brought off on a stretcher. That looked worrying. But I’ve been to see him and he seems OK. So I’ve no idea. But he was quite ill at the time.”
Asked specifically what was wrong with the former Queens Park Rangers shot stopper, McCarthy continued: “I’ve told you. I don’t know.
“He was sick.”
Encouraging to see Alex Smithies sitting up as he’s taken from the pitch. pic.twitter.com/SDVMMQLqNr
— Cardiff City Mad (@cardiffcitymad) February 6, 2021
McCarthy was left pleased by the character shown by his team despite all that was going on with one of their players, and it eventually proved a reasonably comfortable afternoon, winning the Championship fixture 2-0.
“We had to work damned hard to get that,” he added. “I thought we started really well. Of course when you’re two up, it always gives you a chance, but the lads have worked exceptionally hard.”
Cardiff will now turn their attention to Rotherham United on Tuesday night, however it remains to be seen whether Alex Smithies will be fit for it.
After initial concerns, with a close eye being kept on Smithies, it is assumed that he will be able to go on and fight for a place in the starting lineup.
He said: “We are very hopeful Alex will start at Rotherham, at worse in the squad for Tuesday night.”
As Mick McCarthy gives an update on Cardiff keeper Alex Smithies after he was strangely taken ill, Will Vaulks has revealed what’s changed at the club since the new manager’s arrival.
🗣 “I thought we managed the game brilliantly & probably could have had three or four in the end.”
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) February 6, 2021
“Everyone is more happy and I think happy players make better players,” Vaulks explained.
“He’s not afraid to say what he thinks, but he will also encourage you and say, ‘you’ve been brilliant, but you could do better in this.’
“So far, I’d say it’s his man-management skills that have lifted us. But he also knows what he is doing, tactically.
“Against Barnsley, when we were 2-0, down, he put a centre-half on.
“I thought, ‘what’s going on here?’ But he changed the team shape and we came back to 2-2 and almost won that game.
“Our aim at the moment is just to build on each result. I felt as though we got better after Barnsley, when we played Millwall, and we were better again against Bristol.
“We know from when we won four on the spin previously, we’re not that far off. We’re aware as players that we need a run.”
“We’re told what to do and if we do that then he’s happy,” Vaulks added. “We are happy as players too. Since he came in he’s expected you to be the best you can be, do what you’re good at, and he’ll take care of everything else.
“If you’re not good at headers or whatever, he’ll accept that, so long as you’re good at what you’re good at. The minimum he expects is workrate, winning your fights and your battles.
“You have to always maintain belief in the team and yourself as an individual. We haven’t had much luck over the last little while, including some goals we conceded, so it felt like everything was against us.
“With the new gaffer coming in, there was a line drawn in the sand. Today, all we did was cut out errors, and when you cut our errors you win the game of football.
“I’m not lying to say that as players we believe the club should be up there,” he added.
“We know that we’re not going to be right up there this season, because too much has gone. But I’m not going to be shy about it, I want to push for that sixth place. Why not?
“Why not try and get as far up the league as possible? If you’re not trying to then what’s the point. But we know we’re a little while off that and we just have to keep racking up the wins and see where that takes us.”