Malky Mackay has credited his Cardiff City squad for their relentless professionalism ahead of the visit of Barnsley on Tuesday night. It’s a mind-set and mental strength that has seen the Bluebirds challenge consistently at the right end of the table, following a set menu of hard work and determination to back the clear talent within the ranks.
“All the way through the season, there’s a formula to this league because you play so many games,” Malky said. “There’s a certain way of looking at things, because there are blocks of games and breaking that down.
“We’re fortunate to have a group that looks at the professionalism of coming in and doing the work that’s ahead of them that week, preparing for the next game, whether it’s a Saturday or a Tuesday night, factoring in the travel, recovery time and the sacrifices you have to make in general life that’s associated with it all.
“Of course they will do that, because it’s such a good position to be in, but I’ve got players who live properly and act properly, both on and off the field. That’s the mentality we need to be challenging at this level, at the top of it to try and get the prize and the reward that comes with it.”
Craig Bellamy is known for his professional attitude to training and playing to one hundred per cent at all times, on Saturday again playing to optimum levels for every minute of the ninety. For Malky it’s a trait he’s happy to see replicated throughout the squad.
“This is the boy I’ve signed, it’s the boy that’s here who has put his heart into everything that goes on at this football club, on and off the field,” he said. “I look at the way that he’s leading, helping youngsters and the way that he goes out there and runs really hard.
“I look at that that and also the runs of Jordon Mutch makes. Jordon makes so many runs, running away from Watford in midfield at times. For one so young and who has played so few games, I thought it was another fantastic performance from him, he showed some real class along with the rest of my midfielders.”
. Cardiff City have a great opportunity to make history over the last six games, four of which are on home soil – but with the Tykes in good form and the cruel nature of the division, something we know all too well, the only option is to keep calm and to remain professional.Next on the radar is the game in hand, a rescheduled home game against Barnsley on Tuesday night
“There are a lot of ‘ifs and buts’ still to go, so what we'll do is look at the team six inches in front of our faces, which is not Watford any more, it's now Barnsley on Tuesday night, who are on a very good run,” Malky said.
“It’ll be a very tough game, but we'll pick ourselves up and get ourselves ready to go again, which I know this team will because they've got a mental toughness about them that has kept us at the top of this division for a long time, since late November. And I think as a result of that I've got a team who have got an inner belief in their ability and in their togetherness and what actually makes them tick.”
And the injury news ahead of Tuesday?
“Matt tweaked his groin, so we’ll have to take a look at that,” Malky confirmed. “Fraizer took a really heavy knock as we saw against Blackburn, so he’s very doubtful for Tuesday night.”