Malky Mackay needs victory over Swansea City to lighten Cardiff City's mood
THEY are back in the top flight after 51 years, they are outside the relegation zone and they have already humbled Manchester City.
It ought to be party time at Cardiff City but, for some of their followers at least, something is not right.
There is the red shirt, the crest featuring the huge dragon and the minuscule bluebird, and the question marks over the club's long-term financial stability.
Even those who have stomached that little lot then had to cope with the news a couple of weeks back that Iain Moody, one of Malky Mackay's henchmen, had been shown the door against the manager's wishes.
Cue inevitable speculation about Mackay's future, which continues to linger amid suggestions that he would be keen to move on given a decent opportunity because of the unhealthy situation at his current club.
Next came stories about how Vincent Tan, the Malaysian who rules the roost at the Cardiff City Stadium, had been attempting to influence Mackay's team selection.
And then there was the speculation about Cardiff's players demanding that Tan stayed away from the dressing room because of a dispute over bonus payments.
Cardiff's ship should be a happy one right now, yet the stories of unrest will not go away.
Mackay has had plenty to deal with in recent weeks — and there have been issues on the pitch as well as off it.
At Chelsea a couple of weeks back, for instance, Cardiff were in dreamland when Jordan Mutch put them a goal in front.
But it all went sour once Samuel Eto'o controversially nicked the ball away from David Marshall to tee up the Blues' equaliser.
There was another storm at Norwich last weekend, when Cardiff survived 31 attempts on their goal to cling on for a goalless draw.
It almost went wrong for Mackay in highly contentious circumstances at the end, but Leroy Fer's cheeky effort for Norwich was chalked off by the referee.
Cardiff's bright young boss, a good friend of former Swansea City chief Brendan Rodgers, could do with a bit of peace and quiet.
What he faces next is a first taste of the South Wales derby.
His team's form is not great — that remarkable win over City was one of only two in the league so far, and just one success has come in the seven top-flight games since.
Cardiff are struggling to score goals, with big-money summer recruit Andreas Cornelius yet to make any sort of mark having struggled with injury problems.
There is a feeling among some Bluebirds fans that Mackay has been too cautious, and that his team should be doing better given that some £30 million was laid out on new recruits following promotion.
Victory on Sunday, which would take Cardiff ahead of Swansea in the table, would lighten the mood considerably.
Lose to the neighbours, however, and the storm clouds will thicken just along the M4.