Malky Mackay was disappointed after a late equaliser denied his side three points against Barnsley at Cardiff City Stadium, but was keen to stress that it was another point gained for ‘City with just five games of the nPower Championship season remaining.
“It’s one of the things I said to the group at the end,” he said. “We’re a point better off than we were before tonight and a point further away from any other team in the league. We’re a point closer to the prize that everyone at this football club wants.”
The home fans were critical of the fashion in which their team conceded, Stephen Foster’s goal coming well after the initially indicated five minutes of injury time, but Malky cleared the confusion, saying, “I just wanted the referee to clear up the amount of added time, which he did. The extra time was for Kevin McNaughton going down. I was surprised that is was five minutes in the first place; I didn’t see five minutes’ worth of extra time in the second half. The referee said that when they scored there was four seconds to go, and that he was going to blow the whistle four seconds later. I’m absolutely fine with that.”
His views on the performance were mixed, having seen many positives going forward without killing off a resolute Barnsley team with so much to play for themselves.
“We could have been more clinical, but overall I was delighted with the way we played tonight – we were playing against a team that are playing for their lives,” Malky said. “David (Flitcroft) has got them working really hard. I’ve watched some of Barnsley’s previous games and they have worked teams to death, and that didn’t happen tonight.
“To the man, we were excellent. We ran the game and really dominated a lot tonight. We had chances and should have been more clinical – we should have had the game won, but at one-nil, anything can happen and a freak goal did happen. I’m proud of the fact that, whether we’ve won or lost this season, no team has blown us away. Barnsley are one of the form teams in the division, and we have dominated the ball against them tonight.”
Malky was hopeful that Fraizer Campbell would be cleared for the weekend’s meeting with Nottingham Forest, as his side couldn’t make the most of the numerous chances that they created against David Flitcroft’s side. But not to dwell on the disappointment, thoughts immediately turned to the next fixture, as Billy Davies brings his high-flying Nottingham Forest side to CCS on Saturday.
“We’ll have a look at Fraizer,” he confirmed. “He and Matt Connolly are under observation from the physio department at the moment. We’re missing three important players in our captain (Mark Hudson), Fraizer and Matt, but that’s life. There are plenty of teams at the moment that are missing players; you’ve just got to get on with it which is what we did tonight. I thought the group were excellent tonight, we dominated the ball and on another day we would have come out with the three points.
“Forest will be as difficult. It will be a tough game on Saturday but if we play like we have tonight we will give them a good game. As I’ve said before, any team can beat anyone in this league.”