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Cardiff's home concerns continue

Dafydd Pritchard, BBC Sport Wales

Cardiff City have become used to struggling at home.

Saturday's deflating 2-0 defeat by Preston means it is now two months since the Bluebirds last tasted victory at Cardiff City Stadium. The smattering of boos at the final whistle told their own story.

This season had actually started promisingly, with Cardiff winning four of their first five Championship games under Erol Bulut.

But since then, their only home victories have come against Bristol City in October and Millwall in early December.

Having been strongly in play-off contention in the autumn, Cardiff are now drifting into the lower reaches of mid-table obscurity.

Their tally of six league home wins has already matched their total for the 2022-23 campaign, while it is one short of the seven the managed in 2021-22, the second-worst record in the Championship that season.

Bulut has undoubtedly overseen an improvement this term but the decline in performances - as well as results - is a cause for concern.

Cardiff have been particularly blunt at home, scoring a meagre 18 goals from 15 games and offering little excitement in open play.

It is no wonder the atmosphere at Cardiff City Stadium has suffered.

The Preston game was a case in point, with the Bluebirds' fans in fine voice during the early stages but becoming understandably frustrated as their team faded as the match wore on.

Bulut has been at a loss to explain why performance levels have dropped to such an extent, even if he believes his side should have picked up more home wins than the six they've managed.

He points to defeats against Norwich, West Brom and QPR as home games Cardiff should not have lost but, in truth, they were far from inspiring in any of those encounters.

Bulut lamented his side's loss of confidence after Saturday's defeat against Preston, while urging patience as new signings bed in.

Fans have voiced their support for Bulut and his players this season but, unless the team's displays and results improve, that patience might soon start wearing thin.