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Page last updated at 07:51 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Welsh rivals keen for derby calm

Coca Cola Championship - Swansea City v Cardiff City
Venue: Liberty Stadium Date: Saturday, 7 November Kick-off: 1245 GMT Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 live.


Anthony Gerrard talks to BBC Sport Wales on BBC TWO on Friday

Rival players Anthony Gerrard and Darren Pratley have warned their team-mates not to become too hyped up for the Welsh derby at Swansea on Saturday.

Cardiff centre-back Gerrard insists the key to victory and local bragging rights is keeping their composure.

"If you get all pumped up then you are more than likely to do something stupid which is not good," said Gerrard.

Pratley agreed: "You need to keep your heads in a big game. Obviously the atmosphere's going to be good."

Speaking to Radio Wales Sport, Swansea midfielder Pratley added: "I think the team that keeps their concentration and keeps their heads are the team that come out on top."

Gerrard is confident the Liberty Stadium atmosphere will spur on rather than intimidate Cardiff.

Experienced Cardiff midfielder Stephen McPhail was sent off twice in three of last season's all-Welsh clash, as Dave Jones' men lost the Carling Cup tie but drew both league meetings.

Gerrard, cousin of England and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, was raised in a footballing city, but the Liverpool fan was a graduate of the Everton youth academy.

Anthony Gerrard
When we get booed and jeered it gives us a boost and gives us a 'we want to get a result' kind of mentality

Cardiff City defender Anthony Gerrard

So he understands what the first derby of the season means to both sets of Cardiff and Swansea supporters - but the 23-year-old has told his colleague to do a "professional job".

"Of course it is going to be hostile," Gerrard told the BBC's Sport Wales television show ahead of Saturday's 57th south Wales clash.

"They are not going to give us applause because we are their bitter rivals and it will be the same when the Swans come to the Cardiff City Stadium, as they will get a hostile atmosphere which is good.

"But when we get booed and jeered it gives us a boost and gives us a 'we want to get a result' kind of mentality.

"Yet we have got to keep our head and discipline as we will have less of a chance to win the game with 10 men.

"We have to think it is just another game as it is just another three points, but it is more than that to the supporters as they want the bragging rights over their rivals."

Cardiff versus Swansea fixtures have an unfortunate history of crowd trouble and Cardiff boss Jones has called for calm in one of the most hotly contested clashes outside the Premier League.

The Bluebirds are the Championship's form team and top-scorers, while Swansea boast the most clean sheets in the division and their nine games unbeaten is the best run in the Football League.

However, Swansea have scored the fewest amount of goals in the Championship.

In fact, Michael Chopra's 11 goals is equal to the goal tally of the entire Swans team this season.

Although the Bluebirds' top-scorer is suspended for Saturday's lunchtime showdown, Cardiff will replace the Geordie in the starting line-up with last season's top scorer Ross McCormack - fit again to partner the in-form Jay Bothroyd.

Swans skipper Garry Monk has stoked up the psychological battle ahead of the derby by insisting Cardiff are favourites due to the money Jones has spent.

But Cardiff captain Mark Hudson has countered by insisting the pressure is on the home side.

The former Charlton Athletic defender admits Cardiff's defence must eradicate "silly mistakes" that are costing the team goals.

But he said: "It takes a bit of pressure off us being at their place as they are going to have to come out in front of their home supporters, play and get the three points.

"We've conceded too many goals, but who hasn't? We have a few things to tidy up defensively but when you have players scoring goals like we have, it takes the pressure off us at the back."

* Watch Sport Wales' south Wales derby preview this Friday at 1900 GMT on BBC TWO Wales.



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see also
McCormack takes over from Chopra
03 Nov 09 |  Cardiff
Van der Gun sights derby success
02 Nov 09 |  Swansea
Ledley ready to shoot down Swans
03 Nov 09 |  Cardiff
McPhail missing for three months
10 Nov 09 |  Cardiff
Chopra gutted to miss Welsh derby
02 Nov 09 |  Cardiff
Jones pleads for Welsh derby calm
23 Oct 09 |  Championship
Sport Wales: The TV Programme
15 Mar 11 |  Wales
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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