Club News

Malky praises squad ahead of Sunday's match with Spurs

City boss Malky Mackay has called upon the confidence and belief of his side in the Barclays Premier League to see them into Sunday’s clash against early season high fliers Tottenham Hotspur.

The Bluebirds are on a three match unbeaten run in the Premier League that has seen them match some of the best the division has to offer, with an impressive 3-2 victory over Manchester City closely followed by a solid draw with Everton at home.

Last weekend saw ‘City claim their first point on the road at Hull, with Malky particularly impressed with the style and possession play show by his side in the top flight so far, saying: “In periods of the games we’ve actually been as good if not better than the opposition in terms of possession.

“It was something that I thought we could do,” said Malky, “We work on it every day and I know I’ve got technically gifted players in my squad. I think one of the goals against Manchester City and the equaliser against Hull last weekend are probably two of the best goals we’ve scored as a team. That really pleases me.

“That belief is there in the camp and is certainly there within myself but it’s like everything, when the evidence is there you are more convinced. I see people’s character growing and it breeds confidence if a group are together for a good period of time and they start taking more ownership of their own impact on the game and the guy next to them.”

It’s a togetherness the City manager will hope to see continue against Spurs on Sunday, with Andre Villas-Boas’ side buoyed by an impressive 2-0 victory over Norwich City last Saturday and a 3-0 win over Norwegian outfit Tromso in the Europa League on Thursday night.

And despite the busy fixture schedule, Malky believes Spurs’ strength and depth will see them provide quite the test for the Bluebirds on Sunday, saying: “They may have a big fixture schedule but they’ve got a big squad as well, one full of quality and I’ve no doubt that we’re going to be preparing to face a team that are up for it and packed full of ability.”

And despite the high-profile departure of Gareth Bale in the summer, Malky believes Spurs have bought wisely in order to bring in reinforcements.

“They’ve bought very well,” said Malky, “To have such a match winner like Gareth Bale made them a different team at times and his departure was a huge hole to fill.

“They’ve filled it very, very well however.  Because of the size of the fee it has allowed Spurs to go out and bring in seven or eight real high quality footballers. It has changed the look of Tottenham Hotspur in-terms of where they are as a squad now and their strength in depth and the challenge they could provide in the Premier League this season.”

The match may also see City defender Steven Caulker face his former club for the first time since arriving from White Hart Lane in the summer, with his early impression on the City manager underlined last weekend by being handed the captaincy to lead the Bluebirds out against Hull.

“He has slipped comfortably into life down here and into the team and training,” expressed Malky. “He’s a top young lad and he’s someone that we did a lot of homework on over a period of years.

“He has been immaculate for us so far, so much so I’ve given him the captaincy at the moment but I see so much more to come both for his club and for his country.”

Malky Mackay was handed a further boost this week with David Marshall and Craig Bellamy both returning to training having missed last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Hull City.

“Both David and Craig have trained this week and are able to be involved in the squad at the weekend, which is good news,” said Malky.

“I’m delighted that I’ve had a clear week that we’ve had to be able to crack on with the squad we’re going to have available for the weekend.”