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Slade: I will pick the team

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New Cardiff manager Russell Slade insists he can have a healthy working relationship with the club's controversial owner Vincent Tan

New Cardiff manager Russell Slade insists he can have a healthy working relationship with the club's controversial owner Vincent Tan

New Cardiff manager Russell Slade insists he can have a healthy working relationship with the club's controversial owner Vincent Tan

New Cardiff manager Russell Slade has insisted he is his own man despite admitting that he will discuss team matters with the club's controversial owner Vincent Tan.

Slade finally completed his protracted move to Cardiff on Monday night after resigning his position as Leyton Orient manager on September 24.

The 53-year-old has become the third Cardiff manager in the space of a year following the departures of Malky Mackay and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but Slade insists he can have a productive relationship with Tan, who has been criticised in the past for interfering in team affairs.

"I've had a couple of good and honest conversations with the owner," Slade said, speaking for the first time since his appointment on a two-year contract was confirmed.

"He wants value for money from his football club. There's a big budget here and he's put a lot of money into it.

"He wants that work ethic and honesty on the pitch and I'm hoping together we can provide that and a way forward for the club.

"Of course, he's the owner and he's entitled to an opinion on the playing side, but it will be me that's picking the team."

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Slade admitted he had "done his homework" on Tan in much the same way as the wealthy Malaysian businessman would have done on him and believes he can win over Cardiff supporters sceptical regarding his appointment.

Cardiff are 15th in the Sky Bet Championship table with 13 points from 11 games but retain ambitions to return to the top flight they left last May, yet they have turned to a manager who while having extensive lower-league experience has never previously operated at this level.

"Yes, I've got to win fans over but that's the same at any football club when you go in," Slade said.

"The only thing that will do that is performance and winning football matches.

"In terms of management I don't see any difference - management is management whatever level you're at.

"I don't think it changes the fact I've got a lot to bring to the table in terms of the 650 games I've probably done now.

"To a certain extent I'm surprised to be here, but as a League One manager you're always looking for that opportunity and I feel I've done the miles.

"I had an opportunity to go to another Championship club two years ago but Barry Hearn (then Orient owner) wouldn't let me go at that time.

"I had four-and-a-half great years there but I lost that opportunity and I wasn't going to lose this one."

Slade confirmed that Scott Young, who stepped up from the academy to share caretaker duties with veteran defender Danny Gabbidon when Solskjaer left the club last month, will remain at first-team level as his assistant.

The Cardiff manager will continue to put his backroom staff together in the coming days and admits he might have to prune a squad that he says is both large and costly.

"It is a big staff and squad and arguably too big, so that's something we'll look at," Slade said.

"Maybe there needs to be some wheeling and dealing in the short term so we get a sizeable and talented group, but we might want to bring in the right type of player as well.

"But the aim is to get as high up the league as we possibly can, to get into that top six if at all possible.

"We've left ourselves a battle at this moment with the position we're in but there are still 35 games to go and that still gives us a realistic opportunity of getting in the shake-up.

"The owner is realistic enough to see the position we're in and if we can get a top-six position that would be an achievement.

"And from that situation who knows? You can still get in those play-offs and the Premier League."


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