City boss relishes his first South Wales derbyMalky Mackay has told his players to fully embrace the occasion as the Cardiff City boss prepares to lead his side into his first South Wales derby against Swansea on Sunday.
In the first ever clash between the two sides in the Barclays Premier League, an intense week of build-up is almost at an end as the final preparations are put in place to welcome the South Wales derby back to Cardiff City Stadium and the intense atmosphere that goes with it.
And even though a game can so often be branded as just ‘another three points’, the City boss admits this encounter has an extra significance attached, saying: “It's not just another game and I'd be lying if I said that.
“This is going to be an incredible atmosphere. It’s something all our fans have been looking forward to since the day we were promoted and it certainly does hold that special extra edge.
“It is another three points and another Premier League team coming to the stadium, but there's a lot of added importance attached to this game. It's the first time we've played each other at the top level in the Barclays Premier League and that being the case, it's a very special occasion for everyone in South Wales.
“It's certainly got an extra little bite, but it's an atmosphere the players will embrace. I know what the passion of our fans is like and know what the atmosphere can be like, but I don't think it'll touch the sides of what we're going to feel in this game.”
Sunday will see the two sides meet for the first time since 2011, where a last minute Craig Bellamy winner secured a first win for the Bluebirds in Swansea since 1997, the importance of which was not lost on the locally born Cardiff winger.
But speaking to press ahead of this Sunday’s clash, Malky insists all in his squad know the importance of such an occasion, a derby edge that he believes can be of the benefit to any player.
“I think that extra intensity in every player is something that is good for them going out there. You of course have to be careful, be calm and be professional,” said Malky, “But what I do want is that extra heightened sense of the derby game inside them. I think sometimes that can really benefit them that they've got that extra edge going into this game.
“Every player that's here fully understands the importance of this derby. First that it's another Premier League game, but secondly that it's the South Wales derby and the importance attached to that locally.
“To take three points is golden in this division. It's a game we'll be gunning to go and win. It's something we're really looking forward to, to play against Swansea in our stadium in front of our fans because I'm sure the atmosphere will be really intense.
“It's two cities going head-to-head, it's going to be a real occasion. I'm really looking forward to it.”
WATCH MALKY MACKAY AND ANDREW TAYLOR'S PRE DERBY DAY THOUGHTS BELOW