MALKY: COMING HOME WITH PRIDE
After three weeks away from home, Malky’s men return to CCS for the second time this year in what is set to be a passionate derby game tomorrow afternoon.
And at today’s pre-match press conference, the Boss stressed his delight at returning to Cardiff and hopes to give his fans something to cheer about.
“We’ve been away from home for a while and it’ll be good to get back to the stadium as it is rocking at the moment and the pitch is excellent which will make a big difference," said Malky.
“The last couple of pitches we’ve played on haven’t been particularly good but ours is lovely.”
The Championship is renowned for punishing teams who suffer from a lack of strength and depth in the squad due to the number of games arranged. Malky is happy though, that he has a squad which can handle the number of matches set to be played.
“The Championship is all about being mentally able to handle the fixture congestion," he admitted. “To come through the hectic January schedule unscathed was good and hopefully that can continue.
“Ben Turner will be a late shout for tomorrow’s game but the majority of the squad will be available.
“I was delighted to get Tommy Smith back as it was a nasty injury he suffered which kept him out for 3 months and he has got real talent.”
The last time City took on Bristol they were humbled 4-2 at Ashton Gate in a rare defeat. When looking back on that disappointing afternoon, Malky commented: “It was probably one of our poorest performances this season as we made a number of mistakes and it’s definitely a game for us to forget in terms of result. It was important to not forget the performance though as it we had to put it right and after that game we applied ourselves in a way that we made fewer mistakes.
“I am conscious that it is a local derby and there are bragging rights at stake and we are desperate to win. We’ve been looking at Bristol City in the recent weeks and they’ve done well under the new manager which I didn’t doubt.”
Former Cardiff goalkeeper Tom Heaton will make a return to Wales tomorrow and his former boss his pleased to see him doing well. Malky stated: “Tom is a great lad who I have a lot of respect for. He has a smashing personality and was very popular in our dressing room.
“The spotlight was on him because of his cup exploits and I was delighted for him at the time. Until his last day with Cardiff he was a top, top professional and I have no doubt he’ll do well for Bristol, but hopefully not tomorrow.”
The stadium is close to a sell out tomorrow with just a few hundred tickets still available for the hotly anticipated match and the boss has praised the fans for their support this season. He beamed: “Our fans have been exceptional in the way they have travelled and supported our club around the country.
“I would like to think that support will continue until the end of the season. I appreciate that some fans can only afford to come once in every 3 games and that is fine with me as long they continue to support our football club.
“I really respect their commitment and we’ll do everything we can to put a smile on their face, starting from tomorrow.”