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Page last updated at 06:51 GMT, Monday, 19 May 2008 07:51 UK

Jones eyes bright Cardiff future


Interview: Cardiff City boss Dave Jones

Cardiff manager Dave Jones says the beaten FA Cup finalists must use this season's experiences to emerge stronger for the next Championship campaign.

"It has to be a springboard, if we don't move on from here we want shooting," Jones told BBC Sport.

"We've struggled for three years, had no money the last two years, we've now got a brand new stadium on the way and fantastic training facilities.

"It's all in place now, we can be a Middlesborough or a Bolton."

Cardiff lost 1-0 to Portsmouth in the FA Cup final on Saturday and were able to reflect on a great run in the competition despite the ultimate disappointment of defeat at Wembley.

But the Bluebirds fell short in the bread-and-butter of the league as they finished 12th in the Championship, six points short of the play-offs and a possible tilt at the riches of the Premiership.

Cardiff have invested heavily in a new 46m, 25,000-seater stadium, across the road from their current Ninian Park home at Leckwith, which is scheduled to be completed by August 2009.

The south Wales club has also had to fend off in the courts a dispute with financial backers Langston over 24m of loan notes.

That has left Jones to assemble a squad on a comparative shoe-string budget, making their march to the Cup final all the more impressive.

Central defender Roger Johnson, who captained Cardiff at Wembley, backed his manager's call to push on from here.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones comforts defender Roger Johnson
Cardiff boss Dave Jones comforts defender Roger Johnson
"It's been a big season. I feel as though we have missed out but I'm very proud of what I have achieved and what the team have achieved," Johnson said.

"We have not got in the play-offs. We have a good enough squad to push for the title in this league and it was the year to do it.

"Look at the [play-off] final, Hull and Bristol City. In my view, it's not a great final is it? But they're there, so fair play to them.

"We know we are good enough. We pass the ball and that's what you need to do in the Premier League.

"But the Championship is a tough division, you get sucked into other teams' way of playing."

The former Wycombe centre-back is one of a number of Cardiff players who are likely to be transfer targets for Premier League clubs this summer, along with Joe Ledley and Aaron Ramsey.

The aim is promotion now, if we can achieve that and if I'm here

Joe Ledley
But Johnson insists he could sign a new deal at Ninian Park over the summer.

"I hope so, I have another year to run," he added. "We will see what happens in the summer with the chairman [Peter Ridsdale] and the manager.

"I am sure they will offer a few new deals out so hopefully I will be one of them."

Ledley dropped a hint that he may not be at the Bluebirds next season at the club's 'welcome home' party in Cardiff.

"The aim is promotion now, if we can achieve that and if I'm here," he told BBC Wales. "All I want to achieve is playing in the Premiership."

Jones repeated his contention that virtually every club in the country is a selling club, and that Cardiff are no different.

"If the right price comes in everyone sells, only one or two clubs can afford not to do that," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"We decide if the deal is right for the club and for the player. Denying somebody a move he wants means you've lost him anyway.

"The best way to keep hold of your top players is to get to the Premiership."

see also
Portsmouth 1-0 Cardiff
17 May 08 |  FA Cup
Kevin Ratcliffe's column
17 May 08 |  FA Cup
Cardiff chase Man Utd goalkeeper
19 May 08 |  Cardiff
Hasselbaink set for Cardiff stay
18 May 08 |  Cardiff
Jones proud of beaten Bluebirds
17 May 08 |  FA Cup
BBC pundits on the FA Cup final
17 May 08 |  Premier League
Fans enjoy rare FA Cup magic
17 May 08 |  FA Cup
FA Cup final photos
17 May 08 |  FA Cup
FA Cup final as it happened
17 May 08 |  FA Cup
Cardiff undecided on Hasselbaink
07 May 08 |  Cardiff

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