18:30 3rd August 2013
by Liam Jones
Gaffer full of praise for Kim and youngster John
Cardiff's South Korean starlet Kim Bo-Kyung found the net for the third time this pre-season against a strong Chievo side with the only goal of the game, a side footed finish into an open net.
And Manager Malky Mackay was quick to acknowledge his startlet's scoring ability, a result of hard work on the training field and a period of adaptation to life at CCS.
“It's something we wanted to add in terms of the all round make-up of his game," said Malky. "Today he (Kim) showed some sublime touches, but again got on the score-sheet which is important for him in his slightly different role.
"He's only young, you've got to remember that - and coming in from a completely different culture and language, his English has improved massively over the year. As the season went on you saw how he got to grips with the Championship, understood the type of football that it was and I think we saw the improvement as the year went on. I knew about the raw talent the boy had, it was about giving him time to settle.”
Cardiff's preparations are in sync with the expectation Malky had set, with fitness paramount in the trio of away fixtures.
And the manager is happy with the way things are progressing as we move closer to our first Barclays Premier League fixture, away at West Ham United.
“We're playing against a team who've been in the Serie A eleven of the past twelve years," he said. "We knew that it would be a step up in terms of the technical ability of the opposition, they were physically a strong team and at times made some clever runs.
"We knew it was going to be more of a test of what we're looking for in two weeks time, mapping out a plan with today in mind and Athletic Club next week. The fitness work is coming to and end, we're working on match sharpness and that was certainly what today was about, getting the clean sheet and getting the win.”
Although Jordon Mutch was expected to start today, he had to be withdrawn after picking up a niggle in the warm up, whilst Bellamy, Cornelius and Mason all recover from slight problems.
“Jordon had a problem with his groin in the warm up with fifteen minutes to go, it's not too serious," Malky confirmed. "Joe Mason rolled his ankle during the week against Port Talbot and Craig Bellamy was ill over night so again, short term things. Cornelius was tackled a couple of days ago in training and he's got a sore ankle, we're working on it at the moment. We will scan Jordon today and see where he is.”
And young defender Declan John enjoyed a full ninety minutes at left back and was full of energy and attacking intent, leaving Mackay delighted at the talent the academy is producing.
“Declan is s a youngster I've got very high hopes for," he stated. "Were it not for the consistency of the left back that I've got, he would have had a bit more time spent with the first team last year in terms of getting on the pitch.
"He's got real talent and if he wasn't at Cardiff at the moment then he would have played thirty to forty games in a lower league by now. You saw today playing against a team from Serie A he looked confident and comfortable in his position.
"I'm not for holding back people when they reach a certain level and he's reached that level. He is part of my first team squad. Him, Joe Ralls and Ben Nugent are three youngsters who've pushed far enough to be included in first team duties over the last eighteen months and that can only be good for the football club going forward.”