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20:16 19th October 2013

by Mark Denham (@MarkDen_CCFC)

Manager praises performance in defeat at the Bridge

City Boss Malky Mackay spoke of his pride at seeing his side go toe-to-toe with title-chasing Chelsea, despite defeat at Stamford Bridge.

The Bluebirds took a deserved lead after just ten minutes thanks to the mercurial Jordon Mutch, though a highly contentious referee decision – which allowed Samuel Eto'o to steal the ball from David Marshall and set up Eden Hazard to equalise – meant that the two sides went in level at the break.

City had chances to re-take the lead early in the second half and indeed after Eto'o had given the Blues a 66th minute lead, though it would ultimately be City's bravery and ambition as they sought out the leveller that resulted in Chelsea registering a 4-1 scoreline at the final whistle that arguably flattered them.

I'm very proud of my group today - we were playing against top, top players and to come here and play as we did gives me great hope for the future,” said the Manager.

The players have given me everything and they have done for the last two-and-a-half years. It's always frustrating when you play so well and end up on the end of a result. Obviously their first goal shouldn't have stood, but at 1-1 I thought we were playing really well in the first half.”

Referee Anthony Taylor's 33rd minute decision to allow Eden Hazard's goal to stand caused plenty of media discussion post-match, and Malky shed some light on the clarification he was given by the match officials after the game.

"I've been in to see the referee for clarification,” he explained.David Marshall bounced the ball. He saw Eto'o standing next to him and he bounced it. I asked the referee for clarification on what he thought happened.

"The linesman thought that the goalkeeper dropped the ball [which would, going by the laws of the game, have allowed the striker the right to encroach and attack goal].

"Anthony said immediately that if the goalkeeper bounces the ball, then it's a foul on him. And he did bounce the ball as the pictures will show.

I asked Marshy for his opinion and he said that he knew the rules, he bounced the ball and the other player kicked it out from him. He was obviously very frustrated.”

And finally, the Boss paid tribute to another fantastic traveling contingent present at Stamford Bridge, commenting on their unwavering support for the team.

I went over to the fans right away after the handshakes before the game,” said Malky.

Our fans are very supportive people, and they've certainly taken to my staff, player and I, and given us that support. That always feels good to me. They spend their hard-earned money to come all over the country to watch us, and I'll be forever grateful for that.”