MALKY: THE TWELVE POINTS OF CHRISTMAS
Malky Mackay enjoyed Cardiff City’s first away win over Birmingham in over forty years, not only for putting a midlands ghost to rest, but for maintaining the excellent run of festive form that has left his side nine points clear of third placed Crystal Palace.
“Cardiff City hadn’t won away at St Andrews since the sixties,” he said. “It’s never easy against Birmingham City away and this was another tough test. There were also over 2,200 Cardiff supporters here and they made it a fantastic atmosphere. It means such a lot to everybody at our club that so many took the time and spend the money to make the trip.
"It’s been a tough period, but we have momentum and we have consistency, which I’m delighted about. Four wins out of four over Christmas and New Year is a fantastic record and we are now seven points clear at the top, but it’s just about making sure about the game you are in and to keep chalking them off.”
Injuries, illness and tactics led to starting eleven changes for ‘City, but the Cardiff boss was satisfied with the endeavour of his squad, saying, “We made five changes, freshened things up and those who stepped in did their jobs. Peter Whittingham tweaked a knee in our match against Millwall and wasn’t quite ready, while Andrew Taylor fell ill this morning and was feeling dreadful, so we sent him back to South Wales by car. We’re hopeful they will both be ready for our next league match against Ipswich on Saturday week. For Andrew today Simon Lappin came in and did a good job. He showed why he has played at the top level.”
Birmingham, with selection issues of their own were dominant for spells of the game, causing problems through the pace of Redmond to name one.
“It was a tough team we played and we knew we had to battle and fight for everything we got,” Malky admitted. “The pitch isn’t the way I have seen it in the past and didn’t lend itself to flowing football today, but we came through and kept our tenth clean sheet of the season which I’m delighted with.
“We also kept Birmingham pretty quiet in the second half and our keeper didn’t have a save to make. It’s not a situation where we can expect to click every week, but we work hard and play with pride. It was a professional-like performance by the team. In this division as you have to respect for the opposition because you are not going to score bags of goals.”