City boss speaks following stuning 3-2 win over Man CityCardiff City manager Malky Mackay was in a justifiably buoyant mood in his post-match press conference having just guided his side to a thrilling 3-2 home victory over Manchester City at Cardiff City Stadium.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” he announced. “For everyone at the Football Club, today was obviously a day that was a long time in coming. You could see in the build-up that people were pouring into the stadium.
“This was the first time that we’ve played at home in the Premier League, and the first time in fifty-one years that we’ve been in the top division so it meant a lot to a lot of people. That said, with the result being as it is I’m very proud of a lot of people at the club; obviously the players but also the fans who made the atmosphere unbelievable today. Also, the people who work at the Football Club, because they’ve been through some tough times, to see them with smiles on their faces as I walked through the tunnel lightens my heart.”
Malky addressed his pre-match tactical mindset, a plan which was executed to perfection out on the pitch this afternoon: “We had a disciplined approach to the way we played. We thought we knew how Manchester City would try and hurt us, and we tried to stop that from happening and then counter. We knew we’d have to take our half-chances in order to hurt them, and I think that showed here today.
“Manchester City are one of the top teams in Britain and Europe, and are full of top Premier League talent. They come very narrow and they try to play through the middle. The wingers [Jesús] Navas and [David] Silva like to come inside and they’ve got fantastic movement, as does Agüero. They certainly come in and pack that middle area, and there are a lot of balls going in-between. That was an area that we knew we had to be tactically disciplined in, but we also knew that when we did get it that there would be areas of the pitch from which we could expose them.”
While heaping praise on the entirety of his squad, Malky spoke of his admiration for the performances of striker Fraizer Campbell and midfielder Aron Gunnarsson: “I thought Fraizer Campbell gave their whole back four problems today. He’s someone that I was delighted to get – when we got him from Sunderland I thought it was an incredible bit of business on our behalf.
“He needed to get fitter; he needed to get sharper and he needed belief again, and that’s what we gave him. He worked hard over the summer and I think he can force his way into the England squad again if he keeps playing like that against top opposition.”
“Aron became captain of Iceland at the age of twenty-three, and as last season went on, he became more and more important to our team. Over the last two years he’s grown up as a player and showed maturity today alongside a very experienced player in Gary Medel.”
“I think when all three goals went in it was quite incredible – I looked at [assistant manager] David Kerslake at kick-off and we thought, ‘wow’. The sort of passion that was shown by our fans today is something that will be important for us going forward. Playing against a Manchester City team that only lost one game from a winning position last season, and to come back and show that character today; I thought we deserved to win the game. My players are here on merit we proved that today.”