Derby County will offer Cardiff City a tough Tuesday test at Pride Park this week, with Malky Mackay very much aware of the dangers from the Rams on home soil.
“Derby will offer us a big threat,” he said. “I’ve never had an easy game against Nigel or at Pride Park, so that’ll be tough to start with. They’ve come off a back of a really good home result on Saturday evening against Birmingham and have got players who can hurt you, in particular in an attacking sense. We’ve got to make sure we stand up to that and try to come away with a victory.”
The midweek road trip will feel slightly less of a journey for the near seven hundred travelling City fans following the recent away win at Barnsley over the weekend. And for Malky it’s that and our recent results combined that breeds confidence amongst the coaching staff and players.
“I’m delighted that we’ve come off well from the back of two really tough games against Hull and Middlesbrough at home, two of what I view as two of the better teams in the division,” he continued, speaking to BBC Radio Wales. “And then also doing well in a tough away game against Barnsley, where we’ve been under the spotlight concerning our away form. It’s pleasing to have gone up there under difficult circumstances in terms of the two debuts and the weather conditions and come away with a deserved victory.”
Ongojg injuries and the loan signing suspension of Simon Lappin following his Oakwell red card makes for difficult reading, in particular in defence. For the City boss it’s now a case of making the best possible judgement call with the bigger picture in mind.
“We’ve got Don Cowie, Kevin McNaughton, Andrew Taylor and Kevin McNaughton all touch and go, but are currently more than likely to be available on Sunday rather than Tuesday night,” he admitted. “So we’re still a little bit short with Simon not being available.
“It’s something we’re going to have to look into on the day before deciding if any can make it. Taking a risk isn’t ideal as we could end up losing a player for a longer period, whereas giving him another few days makes him completely match fit over a busy Christmas period.
“I’d be delighted if we could get through to Sunday still in decent shape, which we are at the moment. We’ve managed to so far ride out a little storm with our injuries. A week further along we should have Tommy Smith available again, while we’ve now got Craig Bellamy and Jordon Mutch both on the pitch. If we could get that with those six players back involved again, only having Nicky Maynard out long term, then I’d be delighted because it’s been a tough time considering the recognised first team players who have been missing in the last few weeks.”