Monday 18 December 2017

Mackay aims to end Moody talk

Malky Mackay insists he was not asked to resign as Cardiff manager
Malky Mackay insists he was not asked to resign as Cardiff manager

Malky Mackay is keen to draw a line under recent events at Cardiff as the Bluebirds prepare to face Chelsea, but there remains no explanation for the the removal of Iain Moody as his head of recruitment.

Moody, who had worked with Mackay at Watford, has been replaced by 23-year-old Kazakhstani Alisher Apsalyamov on an interim basis.

Apsalyamov is thought to be a friend of Cardiff owner Vincent Tan's son and appears to have no previous experience in football.

It has been suggested that a transfer budget overspend during the summer, when the club spent more than £30million bringing in the likes of Steven Caulker, Gary Medel, Andreas Cornelius and Peter Odemwingie, had been behind Moody's exit.

Cardiff boss Mackay refuted those claims as his side prepare to face Chelsea on Saturday, despite Tan's claim of a £15million overspend, and reports he had been asked to resign.

But he was not prepared to state just why he is no longer working with one of his most-trusted aides, although his agent had stated the Scot was prepared to do just that earlier this week.

Mackay would also not comment on whether he had had any dealings with Apsalyamov, during a tense press conference where, after answering initial questions on off-field matters, he made it clear he would only answer further questions related to Saturday's game against Chelsea.

''Iain is an absolute class act as far as I am concerned. He has done a very impressive job for the football club," said Mackay, who also apologised to the club's fans over the spotlight Moody's departure has cast on the Bluebirds.

''In one of the periods of success at the football club, which we have been in over the last two and a half years, he has had a huge part to play in the restructuring of my squad.

''He helped bring in more than 20-odd players and he is someone who had a huge part to play in the current success, who will be missed by everyone who works for out football club.

''He leaves with my utmost gratitude and respect. I would say our loss will be someone's huge gain.

''One thing I would clarify, as I have read a few things over the past couple of weeks, is that we were absolutely under budget this summer. I want to clarify that. That is what I have to say about Iain.

''As far as I am concerned, again for clarification, under no circumstances was I asked to resign and at no time have I thought of resigning from the football club.''

But Mackay heaped praise on chairman Mehmet Dalman for the role he played in an extended board meeting on Monday where events of recent weeks were discussed in some detail, and it was resolved that Mackay would have the final say on any transfer dealings.

However, at no point did Mackay mention owner Tan's name, and only once did he mention chief executive Simon Lim, who it is believed would have signed off any summer transfers.

''On Monday and over the last two weeks I have a lot of close contact with the new chairman Mehmet Dalman, who is a very impressive figure,'' said Mackay.

''He chaired the board meeting as though he had chaired a thousand in his sleep, he was very impressive.

''Over the last couple of weeks there has been a mutual respect between us and an understanding of what needs to be done to make the club strong again.

''I hope he plays a big part going forward as far as the club is concerned.

''Any other questions in terms of where that's concerned, you can ask, or ask to discuss with, the CEO (Simon Lim) down at the stadium.

''I want to protect the players. I want to talk about football, we have a game against Chelsea. I am the manager and my job is to look after the football side of the club so, with respect, that's all I will be saying about that.''

Press Association

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