CARDIFF are fancied by a lot of people to go straight back up – but not by me.

I think they’ll struggle a bit as their manager is new to this level and he is under a lot of pressure to win promotion at the first time of asking.

Not that I think it will be an easy game tonight. It will be a tough test.

Yes they have lost a few players but they’ve still got the basis of a good side.

But for me it’s not a side that is guaranteed to get back to the Premier League.

And I can really seeing Blackburn winning tonight, especially if they get an early goal inside the opening 20 minutes.

And it’s important to get that win.

Not just because it’s Cardiff and there’s a chance to lay a marker down.

But because it’s the first game of the season and it’s at home.

It wouldn’t matter if Blackburn were playing one of the smaller sides and not one of the teams who have come down from the Premiership.

They’d want to get off to a good start in front of their own fans all the same and pick up from where left off at the end of last season.

They finished so well and that’s why there is so much optimism around the place.

And no-one impressed me more than Craig Conway and Rudy Gestede.

They come up against their former club tonight and believe me they’ll be a little bit more fired up.

You always are when you’re taking on the side that let you go.

In my experience when you play one of your former teams it can go one of two ways.

You either have a great game or an absolute nightmare.

Let’s hope Rudy and Craig have great games and Blackburn can really hit the ground running.

I cannot wait for it to get started.

As a player I wasn’t the best trainer in pre-season and all I wanted was for that first game to come around.

That’s what the Blackburn players will be feeling today.

Excited – like the rest of us.