Malky Macaky was more impressed with securing three big points at home on Tuesday night that the breaking a club record that had stood for sixty five years – though the impressive sixth consecutive home win and the spirit in which his side fought back from a goal down against the Scot’s former club clearly filled him with pride.
“It’s great that the boys have achieved that and I’m very proud of them all,” he said. “It’s also fantastic that our supporters are turning up in numbers to back their team, which is what I asked them to do at the start of the season. They are seeing good football being played, they’re seeing players committed to the shirt and they are seeing club records being broken. I’m proud of that, but I’m more proud of the three points tonight.
“We knew full well that it was going to be a very tough game for us tonight – it’s why Watford have won the away games that they have this season, as they sit in there and come out and attack well on the counter. We knew that we were going to have to be patient to deal with that, which we were, especially in the first half when I felt we played some good stuff.
“Obviously we were hit with the set piece goal, which required us to be even more patient. My message at half time was to be calm, keep probing and shift the ball quickly and as the second half went on we had chance after chance. We ended up with twenty four attempts on their goal, though at one point it looked like it was never going to go in.”
Cardiff’s guests ended the game with nine men after two separate instances saw Daniel Pudil and Nathaniel Chalobah sent off – the first for violent conduct, the second for two yellow cards.
Speaking of the decisions he said, “It appears - and I’ve looked at it again - that when the two players (Noone and Pudil) came down from challenging for the ball, there’s a tussle and the boy slaps Craig in the face. The linesman was two feet away and sees that. The second one was obviously a case of two yellow cards, but I have to say that the first challenge for his (Nathaniel Chalobah) first booking was horrendous.”
Cardiff fans played a part in keeping the team on track, even after a spell of poor deliveries when chasing the winner.
“For about ten minutes we stopped concentrating and were rushing things, but when you see the actual goals we scored, there was a beautiful ball threaded into the box into Joe Mason who rolled his defender, played it wide and Noone played a lovely ball for Gunnarsson,” Malky said.
“The first goal was another nice ball slid into the box for Tommy Smith and a calm head from Matt Connolly in the way he took the lad on and hit the shot. The boy then stops the ball going into the back of the net with his hand, so it was a case of the moments of quality that won the match. Yes there were snatched chances and missed chances, but the moments of quality counted in the end.”