Jordon, take us back to the start of your career at Cardiff City. How did the move to the bluebirds come about?
“I knew Malky before I moved to Cardiff because I originally had a loan move at Watford. At the end of the season, when we didn’t get promoted with Birmingham through the playoffs, he asked me if I wanted to join him at Cardiff. Previously working with him, I had a good time and I wanted to move to Cardiff after I spoke to him regarding their plans. I wanted to go play for him in the main.”
You joined the club at the time when the re-brand happened at Cardiff City. How do you remember things changing at the Cardiff City stadium and were you all really aware of how it would affect the club?
“To be fair, inside the club not much changed. It obviously meant a lot to the fans and the city, but coming from Birmingham and not being aware of what it meant to the fans at the time, a lot of the in-house stuff remained the same and we just got on with the football side of it. In terms of affecting the players, it didn’t really affect them, but obviously over a longer period of time, it did affect the club.”
Tell us about your first season playing for Cardiff City in the championship. Did you know that the Bluebirds would be genuine promotion contenders?
“When I originally spoke to Malky, he told me the signings he intended on making and the backing he had from the owner, I realised then we would be challenging to get promoted.”
You played a pivotal role in the promotion run-in and established yourself as a fan favourite. What are your abiding memories of promotion season?
“The whole season really. Every game meant more than just winning one game. Obviously at the end of the year, the game we got promoted against Charlton was an unbelievable feeling with the fans because it was the first time the club had been in the Premier League. So it was awesome to be a part of it.”
You were probably the best player at Cardiff City that season. How did you find the step-up from the Championship to Premier League football?
“It’s a totally different kind of football. The Championship is more hundred miles an hour, one pace kind of football. The Premier League is a bit more tactical and more intense in certain movements. You look at Hazard and those players, they go slow one minute and then the next minute they are in your box putting the ball in the net.”
Why do you think Cardiff struggled to stay in the Premier League once they were there? Was it mainly down to off-the-field issues?
“I think if you look at the first half of the season, we did really well and the position we were in, we were steady. I don’t think the off-field issues helped with changing and what was happening with the chairman and Malky at the time. It wasn’t stable, so I think it had a little bit of an issue.”
What games and memories stand out from your time at the Bluebirds? The Fulham Premier League game and goal is a stand-out one for many Bluebirds, but what about you?
“I would say the Fulham game was definitely the stand out moment. I would say the first home game against Manchester City was a big moment when we beat them 3-2 too. The fans, every time Man City had the ball, the noise was incredible. That was pretty awesome.”
When the time came for you to leave the bluebirds for QPR, how did you feel about the move?
“I didn’t want to move. I wanted to stay in Cardiff, but the opportunity to stay in the Premier League was also what I wanted. I was at home in Cardiff; the stadium, the fans, where I lived, stuff like that. But the position with the off-field stuff at Cardiff at the time was hard for me to stay.”
Have you maintained any connections with the squad since you left in 2014?
“I speak to a couple of the players like Aron Gunnarsson sometimes, Matthew Connolly here and there. A lot of players that left Cardiff, I still keep in-touch with.”
Would you say your career has been disrupted by injuries over the years?
“Yeah, you could say i’ve had a few injuries; since I left Cardiff I haven’t played regularly so that definitely hasn’t helped. I am still only 26 and I’ve got 10 years left in me, i’m hoping to play a lot of games.”
Moving on to the current Cardiff City team and management, how do you view them and are there any players you’ve been particularly impressed by?
“Yeah, I think they had a great season last year. Warnock knows how to get out of the Championship, Aron Gunnarsson, the captain, he’s obviously a great player and he’s kept that stability in the team, which really helps.”
How’s it going at the Whitecaps and what are your plans for the future?
“It’s going brilliant so far. I love being here. I‘m just enjoying the moment and not looking too far ahead.”
View From The Ninian wants to thank Vancouver Whitecaps and Nathan Vanstone for helping arrange this interview.