Mehmet Dalman, Erol Bulut and Ken Choo.
Mehmet Dalman, Erol Bulut and Ken Choo. Image: Cardiff City FC.

New Cardiff City manager Erol Bulut tells fans: ‘We have to think positive’

The Turkish manager has agreed a one-year deal with an option for two more

EROL Bulut urged Cardiff City fans to “think positive” as he takes charge of a side that has spent two seasons flirting with relegation from the Championship.

At his unveiling to the media today the Bluebirds’ new manager was flanked by club chairman Mehmet Dalman and CEO Ken Choo.

The trio refused to give any specific targets for the club’s progress at this early stage, but Choo said Bulut has “fire in his eye” and a grin that suggests he wants to do much more than just stay up.

The 48-year-old joins on a one-year contract with an option for a further two years based on progress in the first season.

“It shows we have a target,” the new manager said. “If we get this target, we can continue our work together.”

The former Fenerbahce manager will be joined by three of his preferred coaching staff including a goalkeeper coach and assistant performance coach.

The British-Turkish Dalman said he first met Bulut two weeks ago – despite the fact they’re meant to be related, he joked.

The chairman made assurances that Bulut emerged as the “outstanding candidate” after enduring the same recruitment process as names such as Nathan Jones, Oscar Garcia and Cameron Toshack, who completed the club’s shortlist of four.

Asked to describe his management style, Bulut said: “First of all, I don’t like to talk about me. One thing I can say about myself is I like discipline for my players. Not only respect for the coach, for the players.”

He also identified City’s home record and scoring struggles as problems that needed to be fixed.

“Cardiff last season scored only 41 goals. I think second from the bottom. Attackers is not only wingers, strikers, number 10. It can start from the back, from the goalkeeper.”

Bulut wants to make the Bluebirds great at home again.

With seven players set to leave the club after their contracts expire, Bulut wants to see “eight to ten” new faces come through the door.

One of those signings could be even “bigger” than his own appointment – and the club could reach an agreement with the mystery player as early as this week.

If it happens, Dalman expects the marquee signing to inspire the purchase of thousands more season tickets, taking the tally from around twelve thousand currently to the maximum of around eighteen.

Pushed for specifics of the kind of team he wants to build, Bulut said that Turkish fans claim he has an “English style”.

“My favourite [formation] is 4-2-3-1, sometimes 4-3-3. In the game, our players should know what we have to do. Inside the game, this can sometimes be three at the back. It can look like 4-2-3-1 but it can change.

“I like to win, I don’t like to lose. So I will make everything possible in the games to have the three points in the end.

“In the end, we have to be much, much stronger. We need the fans.”

Bulut said he did not think his lack of experience managing outside Turkiye would hinder his work, noting his playing experience in different nations and belief in the system that he has honed over six years.

“This is not a cheap hire. There is no intention of getting rid of anybody,” Dalman said. “We have targets, we have a vision we want to fulfil.

“Every manager is a risk. But it has to be a calculated risk. It can’t be a guessed risk. And when we look at that pedigree of manager I have on my left, I think it’s a calculated risk.”

“You don’t have to be a genius to do better than we did last year.”