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Mackay lauds U21 ace Mason

MALKY Mackay has hailed Ireland U21 star Joe Mason after yet another impressive display from the striker.

Cardiff's play-off hopes suffered a blow when they could only draw 1-1 with Leeds United on Saturday but Mason came away from the game with more credit when he scored Cardiff's only goal of the game, his 12th of the season.

"His finish was sublime," said Mackay, who last week moved to sign up Mason on a new four-year contract.


"Joe has worked very hard with the staff and the other players to get better all the time. We haven't been able to hold him back.

"He's made so much progress that we couldn't leave him out of the starting XI for most of the season. That is good testament to the lad himself."

Irish fans have had little opportunity to see the Plymouth -born player in the flesh - two of his three U21 caps came away from home and most of his youth caps also came in games outside of Ireland, but he will get a chance to shine on home soil in the coming weeks with a European U21 qualifier against Italy in Sligo in June.