With the two week international break reaching an end, Cardiff City dive straight back into Championship action with two league games in three days, starting with Peterborough on Saturday.
Malky Mackay spoke to the press on Friday morning ahead of the hectic Easter weekend.
“April’s a busy, busy month,” said the City boss. “There are a lot of games in a short space of time, so I suppose the international break gives everyone a little bit of respite before that starts. We’ve obviously had two or three away on international duty as well, but it gave us time to regroup and set ourselves for the last nine games.
“It’s not been two weeks off; it’s been two weeks of recovery days for the players and working days for the staff. Obviously the players have been in for certain parts of the week as well. So it’s just a normal couple of working weeks really, with a little bit of extra time off without the game on the Saturday.”
And in regard to those who represented their countries over the break, Malky revealed that everyone has returned in full health and ready for the final stretch of the season.
“You pray that your guys come back in working order," he said. "If you’ve got players that are going to play international football then it means that you’ve got good quality at your club, and I would never ever deny people the chance to play for your country – something that I was proud to do myself, and my players are proud to do now.
“Craig Bellamy’s come back fine, he’s in good working order. We’ll assess him in terms of what we do with him over the weekend. I have no concerns about Craig as he played four games in ten days for us over Christmas time, which dispelled the rumour that he can’t play in successive matches. We have managed him, I would suggest, as well as he has been managed in his whole career, in terms of the load that we put on him training-wise. He’s certainly going to be part of my thinking for tomorrow.”
On to Saturday’s opponents, and City are well aware of the threat that Peterborough can pose as they ended our perfect home record back in December.
“Peterborough are a good team," Malky stated. "Darren Ferguson is a good man and a good manager, and he’s done a very good job at Peterborough when I look at the budget and their situation. So I don’t expect anything other than a tough game up there. I don’t believe in bogey grounds, as we’ve managed to tweak history at various places this season. It’s about this new group of players going up there and applying ourselves as we know we can, and showing that we’re the most consistent team in this league.
“The business end is the last 10 games, so we’re in the final straight now coming into April. It’s a case of just doing what we’ve been doing, in terms of keeping calm, and just focusing on the team that are six feet in front of our face.”