NAUGHTS EMBRACING BPL LIFELINE
Defender confident of City escape in remaining fixtures
As Cardiff City supporters, there haven’t been too many more re-assuring sights over the past decade then Kevin McNaughton in a Bluebirds shirt.
The 31 year-old full-back has enjoyed a Barclays Premier League renaissance in 2014 and once again stepped up to the plate at Southampton earlier in the month as a second-half substitute, replacing Fábio Da Silva.
Speaking to cardiffcityfc.co.uk, the Scottish international reflected on an uplifting fortnight at Cardiff City Stadium – and spoke of his hopes for a strong end to the season.
“Southampton was obviously a massive boost,” said the defender. “We were down on our knees the week before, but now there’s another lifeline for us and it gives us a chance to stay in the league, which is the most important thing. We’ve got some massive games ahead of us now after a decent point against Stoke, and hopefully things fall for us in the big ones coming up.
“I know this team will not give up. We’ve still got games that we can win and there’s no point in feeling sorry for ourselves while there are matches still to play. Until it’s mathematically impossible we’ll keep going. We’ve got a great chance.
“Obviously, we’ve been given a lifeline with what happened the past two weekends, but there’s no point in taking those points if you don’t go on again and build.
“We’ve got to dig in and somehow manage to scrape out results. It doesn’t matter about performances to be honest with you – they go out the window at this stage of the season. It’s about people throwing their bodies on the line and getting that little bit of luck. For example, on the weekend we were under pressure for large spells of the game and you’ve just got to be organised, control yourselves and take your chances when they come along.”
Having joined Cardiff City in the summer of 2006, it seemed that Kevin’s days as a Bluebird were numbered when he joined Championship club Bolton Wanderers on loan back in the autumn.
But having been brought back into the fold for the Bluebirds’ New Year’s Day trip to Arsenal, ‘Super Kev’ has remained integral to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Premier League squad – indeed the defender signed a one-year contract extension earlier in the spring.
“I renewed it a few months back actually another year at the club – it was great to do that,” Kevin reflected. “I don’t want to go back to that Championship! It’s been brilliant in the Premier League to go to these big stadiums with great atmospheres and play against the best players in the world this year.
“It’s been great to come back in and be involved. My dream as a footballer was to play in the Premier League so to get the chance to do it, and for Cardiff as well, has been brilliant. I’m just hoping to get a chance again but if the boys ahead of me are playing well then hopefully when the opportunity comes for me then I’ll be able to take it.
“I’ve been at Cardiff when it’s come down to the last four or five games of the season and we’ve blown up to be honest with you. It would be a nice change if we could do the exact opposite and kick on in the last three games. Hopefully we’ll have a bit of a role reversal and actually enjoy these remaining fixtures with some success at the end of them.”