Recently by Jonathan Lee
There's a saying that City fans have adopted, one that many wear as a badge of honour and one that some see as a throwback to the dark days. Whatever your personal connotations to the phrase "Nobody likes us" are, there is no doubt that aside from the red half of Liverpool (and the white of Swansea) the entire football-watching nation were willing Cardiff City to lift the League Cup on Sunday.
As it finished we haven't got the cup and we haven't got a couple of games against AZ Alkmaar, and the like, next season. But when has supporting City ever been about winning silverware? I'm confident that no one reading this has ever seen the Bluebirds lift a major trophy. We aren't in it for the medals, we are in it for the grit and the passion, and we saw nothing on Sunday if not that.
The first images of Malky emerging from the tunnel sent waves of positivity through every person, inside and outside Wembley Stadium, wearing blue. The man looks like he's never even heard of bottling, of only giving 99%. Before the first ball was kicked we were convinced that our boys would give blood, sweat, and tears to win... and didn't they do well.
After returning home from the Nottingham Forest game on Saturday, I set about writing a long-overdue article on the Bluebirds and the fantastic form we have shown over the last few weeks. Come Sunday, none of that mattered.
The Football League, or Carling, Cup has in recent years been ridiculed as a nonsense competition many fans consider as the lowest priority in the football calendar.
Even the mention of the competition will nearly always be followed in conversation by words like 'Mickey Mouse' and 'youngsters', but is there still an important element to the Carling Cup for Cardiff City?
The Bluebirds face Huddersfield at Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday night following an extra-time victory over Oxford United in the First Round earlier this month. In that game Malky Mackay was forced to put together a mixed squad of experienced and reserve players, due to several of the City starting 11 being away on international duty.
I expect to see a similar selection on Tuesday. Everybody behind the scenes undoubtedly shares a unanimous opinion that the Championship should be our unrivalled priority this, and every season until we get it right.
Peter Whittingham playing for Cardiff City against Dagenham and Redbridge in the Carling Cup
West Ham United 0 - 1 Cardiff City
What better way to test Malky's new outfit than with an away fixture against arguably the strongest squad in the league? A home tie at Cardiff City Stadium against Doncaster or Crystal Palace would have sufficed, considering this was the first competitive game that the new squad would play together. No disrespect aimed towards Donny or Palace but games don't come more daunting in this division than a West Ham team packed with, to a man, Premiership experienced players.
City started well; breaking the midfield and getting forward, although we played the long, high ball towards the diminutive duo of Earnie and Miller too often. For the majority of the first half I found myself questioning Mackay's tactics of playing Earnshaw and Earnshaw up front, such was the lack of Miller's impact. The Hammer's started to find their feet as Kevin Nolan and Scott Parker were brought into the game more, linking passes well and attacking David Marshall's area. They shouldn't have bothered today.
The Dave Jones era will hopefully be remembered by the fans of Cardiff City as a positive one.
One in which we frequented Wembley Stadium like it was a second home, in which we had the best cup run in living memory and a period that gave us a solid platform, as one of the heavyweights of the division, that we can build on to reach that elusive "promised land."
However, some could argue that in the latter years he became so desperate, perhaps pressured, to deliver that he couldn't get it right when it really mattered.
Whatever history will make of 'DJ', his time with the Bluebirds came to a timely end on 30th May and with him went a dozen players; including Chris Burke, Jay Bothroyd (both out of contract), Craig Bellamy, Seyi Olifinjana, Jason Koumas (end-of loan periods) and Michael Chopra (sold to Ipswich).