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The Bulut Train is up and running: The Big Welsh Four – Weekend Preview

The Bulut Train is up and running.

It powered through Swansea City in the South Wales derby and then rumbled over Coventry in midweek.

Even Cardiff City manager Erol Bulut seems to like the image of a sleek blue locomotive, engineered by Turkish know-how.

Bulut insists his Cardiff “machine” can keep pumping out the results whether or not Aaron Ramsey is fit to play at Sunderland.

The Bluebirds have won back-to-back victories for the first time since February and aim to make it three wins on the bounce when they head to the North-East.

Cardiff will travel to the Stadium of Light, looking to chalk up a third consecutive Championship win for the first time since a run in January-February 2022.

They are likely to include captain Ramsey in their line-up after he missed the midweek 3-2 win over Coventry City – which followed their derby triumph against Swansea City – but even if the Wales skipper is missing again through a hamstring concern, Bulut says the team will keep firing.

“Aaron Ramsey is very important for this club, for me and for the team. It’s not easy to not have him in the game,” said Bulut.

“But we showed – our players showed – we don’t have to concentrate only on one player. If it’s not Ramsey, it has to be someone else. Our company, our machine has to work always. It has to be the same performance if someone else plays.”

Even more desperate for a victory is Swansea City head coach Michael Duff.

The former Northern Ireland international has yet to win a Championship match this season and knows the pressure is mounting with the Swans in the relegation zone.

On Saturday, the club host fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.

Duff admitted: “We need a win. The players need a win. I want to win more than anyone.

“I have been given a massive responsibility at this football club and I want to leave it in a better place than I found it.

“At the minute we are nowhere near where we want to get to. But you can’t stick the cherry on top before building the foundations.”

It may have been a slip of the tongue, but Duff admitted after defeat at QPR that managers who go 10 games without winning often end up being sacked.

  • He’s already up to seven.

Swansea will be without the suspended Ollie Cooper and injured Joe Allen, Liam Walsh and Kyle Naughton.

Newport County will host Bradford City on Saturday with County manager Graham Coughlan at the centre of speculation linking him with the managerial vacancy at Cheltenham Town.

Newport are currently 12th in League Two.

Coughlan said: “I don’t know much about it and would rather concentrate on Bradford. We have 24 hours to prepare for a big game and that is where my focus is.”

Wrexham could move into the automatic promotion places in League Two if they win away at Stockport County on Saturday.

Phil Parkinson’s team are currently fourth – three points behind leaders Gillingham – and are unbeaten in seven games after losing their opening game at home to MK Dons.

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