Steve Morison has vowed to “evolve” Cardiff as a football club after extending his contract as manager until the summer of 2023. Morison has been in charge since October, but his new contract was confirmed after Cardiff’s 1-0 home win over Derby boosted their Championship survival prospects, with Rams manager Wayne Rooney furious with the Welsh side’s winner.
Cardiff were 21st and just two points clear of the relegation zone when Morison succeeded Mick McCarthy on the back of eight successive defeats. The Bluebirds are now 16 points clear of Barnsley in 22nd place after a fifth win in nine games.
Morison said: “I’ve been acting as if I was going to be here because you can’t sit here and wait. The things I’m putting in place will help the football club long term. We need to evolve as a football club and move away from where we’ve been because the game’s changing.
“We’ve got to move with the change and the recruitment and scouting teams know what type of players we want. It would be the same if someone else was here.”
Uche Ikpeazu struck the 85th-minute winner, with Rooney insisting that Rams forward Festy Ebosele had been fouled before Cardiff launched their decisive attack.
Morison said: “I’ve looked at the moment back on video. He’s barely touched him and he’s thrown himself to the floor. Don’t forget too that the ball’s got to go from there down to the other end of the pitch.”
Rooney, however, was furious that the goal was allowed to stand and suggested that Derby have had a raw deal from referees in recent games.
“No one expects us to stay in this division,” said Rooney of a Derby side who are eight points from safety following a 21-point deduction. “I think we have exceeded expectations. Now, we get within touching distance, has that ruffled a few feathers? “Are we getting punished for picking up more points than we should have? We have asked questions before.
“It’s a concern, the decisions we are not getting. I brought this up after the last game. “Maybe they have discussed that and they don’t like that. I respect the officials but it is concerning.”
Derby have only 11 games left but Rooney refused to throw in the towel, adding: “It’s not over. We’ll keep fighting and keep going until the end. We are honest, young players trying to do the right thing every day and it’s difficult to take when these decisions go against us.”