The Christmas fixture list is known to be relentless – and next on our festive schedule is a trip to face Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s. For Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay, the midlands message to his players is to maintain the momentum built from three consecutive wins against promotion rivals.
“The games have been thick and fast at this time of year, and that’s nothing other than what we’d expect,” he said today. “After two good home games and a good result at Leicester, against three teams who are up there challenging, this is another important away game at St. Andrew’s.
“A club like Birmingham has a rich history of being in the top division – they’ve had their own well-documented issues over the last couple of years, but when you look through their squad, there are experienced players there. Not too long ago they had a change of manager and Lee (Clark) has a proven track record. I think that he hasn’t been there long enough to have the group that he wants, but in time that will come together. Regardless, it’ll be a tough game - they’ve had some good results this year.”
At this point it’s unknown if Aron Gunnarsson will feature after having been withdrawn before the interval against Millwall; the Iceland skipper one of a few players who are currently being assessed.
Speaking of the treatment room, Malky added, “We’ve got two or three knocks and bruises at the moment. The strength in depth that we have this year will help us, having played twice since Wednesday our squad quality will help us prepare for tomorrow.”
Malky also admitted that Cardiff as midpoint league leaders are there to be shot at by rivals, something his players have to be comfortable with, along with taking each game with confidence.
“It’s about having a monotonous consistency in what we do,” he said. “We’re always looking at the next game and then chalking it off.
“You’ve got to keep your head down and when there’s ten games to go, then you look at where you are, how many points teams need and so on. Right now, we’re half-way, there’s a long time to go, a lot of points to play for. I’m just delighted that my team has gelled well enough to be in the position we are now.”