Sport Soccer

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Mackay proud to manage Cardiff

Published 10/11/2013 | 08:16

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Malky MacKay has been linked with the Crystal Palace job

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay believes Crystal Palace have made a shrewd move by making his former right-hand man Iain Moody their new sporting director but has given no indication he is set to join him at Selhurst Park.

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Mackay's position at Cardiff has been under intense scrutiny since his trusted head of recruitment was ousted last month by owner Vincent and replaced by 23-year-old Kazakh Alisher Apsalyamov.

Moody's re-emergence at managerless Palace has led to inevitable speculation that Mackay, who appears far from content with recent events, will reprise their partnership at the London club.

Speaking after his Bluebirds side went down 2-0 at Aston Villa, Mackay was fulsome in his praise of Moody but less than forthcoming on his own plans.

Just as he was after beating Swansea last weekend, the Scot was careful to speak well of everything at Cardiff except his own bosses, but was otherwise evasive.

"I said our loss would be somebody else's gain. I'm pleased that Iain is back in the game because he's a talented individual and he'll do well for them," he said.

"We chat regularly but he didn't need my advice (about the Palace job). He's an intelligent man."

Invited to clarify his own position once and for all, he added: "What do you want me to comment on? Yes or no (to leaving)?

"I'm the Cardiff City manager and I'm proud to be the Cardiff City manager.

"We've got a great group of players, staff, and the group of fans today...truly outstanding.

"I'm the Cardiff City manager and, as I said, I'm proud to be that."

Eagle eyed observers will surely spot the lack of a 'yes' or 'no' in that response and Mackay can expect more questions on the subject until Palace hot seat is filled.

On the field, Mackay felt his side would have been worthy of a draw but had to accept that Leandro Bacuna's free-kick - effectively the match-winner despite Libor Kozak's subsequent second - was the difference.

"I'm disappointed for the players, up to the free-kick we looked good value for getting something from the game," he said.

"We had plenty of the ball and were beginning to cause Villa some real problems.

"But it was a top-class free-kick. At this level that happens. Players at this level, on any given day, can put the ball in the top corner or produce a free-kick like that.

Mackay's opposite number Paul Lambert was a relieved man after Bacuna's intervention ended a seven-and-a-half hour goal drought.

Villa had drawn four successive blanks prior to this match but the Dutch full-back - temporarily pushed into midfield by the time left David Marshall rooted to the spot in the 76th minute - produced an effort worthy of bucking the trend.

"I thought Bacuna's free-kick against Manchester City was world class, but this one surpassed it," he said.

"It was a terrific free-kick. We know he can do it, we've seen him do it in training.

"When I watch him in training every time he hits one you think it's going to hit the target.

"He got it up and down very quickly and there wasn't much room for him to aim at. It was just fantastic technique."

Kozak, only in the side because of injuries to Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor, headed his second goal for the club with six minutes left to secure the points.

Press Association

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