City boss previews trip to Villa Park
Malky Mackay is looking forward to a tough but enjoyable test against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday.
The City boss was understandably delighted with the Bluebirds’ South Wales derby victory over Swansea last weekend, as a Steven Caulker header secured all three points and local bragging rights in the process.
And speaking to press at the Vale Resort ahead of this weekend’s trip to Villa, Malky was eagerly anticipating a tough trip against a former team-mate in Villains’ manager Paul Lambert.
“We’ve got a tough game ahead of us,” said Malky, “I know Paul Lambert really well, and to face one of his teams at home will be an extremely tough task. His teams play with a lot of energy and intensity and they’re at home which brings it’s own challenges.
“He’s a good guy, we played at Celtic together and have stayed in touch, but it’s another league game for us and another opportunity to pick up points.
“As I’ve said before every game away from home is tough in this division. I know Paul’s teams, I know how they play and I think they’ve been unlucky not to have picked up more points from some of their recent games.
“I’m really looking forward to it. Villa Park is one of the best grounds in the country, there’s so much history behind it and their fans have a history of backing their side to the hilt.”
City’s victory over Swansea saw the Bluebirds leapfrog Villa ahead of this Saturday’s tie, a win that Malky believes gave the club and fans plenty of cheer after months of build up.
“I think it’s good for everyone,” said Malky, “To beat your local rivals always gives everyone a little bit of cheer. I’m desperate to do well every week and I’m delighted for them.
“There was obviously a lot of build up leading into that game and our fans have been looking forward to it for a good six months now. So for it to come, be the occasion it was and get the right result for the club, it certainly gives everyone a smile.
“Importantly, it was great to get the three points for the club and I fully understand the importance of the occasion for the fans. It was a good three points against a good Premier League team.”
Malky also reserved praise for last weekend’s match-winner Steven Caulker as the City defender produced yet another impressive performance since arriving in South Wales from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer.
“We knew when we signed him that we had a great player and he immediately settled in to the group,” said Malky, “He has great ability but is also young and it’s credit to us, Cardiff City to be able to attract that type of player.
“All you can do is be consistent and do as best you can for your club. He’s certainly someone who is in contention for his country and long-term I think he’s someone who will get a lot of England caps.
“I’ve been delighted with what my side has shown in the Premier League and how they’ve settled in here. That belief has shown in most of the performances and we’ve been more than competitive.”
WATCH MALKY MACKAY AND PETER WHITTINGHAM'S PRE-VILLA THOUGHTS BELOW