Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Mackay praise for ousted Moody

Malky Mackay revelled in Cardiff's derby victory

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay appeared to take a thinly-veiled dig at owner Vincent Tan as he praised the work of former head of recruitment Iain Moody following his side's 1-0 derby win over Swansea.

Steven Caulker returned to haunt his former club as his powerful header gave Cardiff the bragging rights in the Barclays Premier League's first south Wales derby, while Gary Medel and Kevin Theophile-Catherine were among other signings made with Moody's aid to feature strongly.

A game of few clear chances failed to live up to the hyped build-up at Cardiff City Stadium with Michu missing Swansea's best opportunity in just the fifth minute, but it was Cardiff who emerged victorious as Caulker, who spent a season on loan at Swansea, rose to score the winner.

Swansea, who had goalkeeper Michel Vorm sent off in stoppage time, had started the game strongly, but Michael Laudrup's side gradually faded as Cardiff came on strong in the second half.

Amid all the recent furore caused by the exit of head of recruitment Iain Moody and the appointment of his acting replacement Alisher Apsalyamov, the uncertainty over Mackay's future and the motives of controversial owner Tan will be briefly forgotten by Bluebirds' fans as they revel in derby glory.

But when Mackay was asked if he had spoken to Tan after the victory, the Scot replied that he had yet to do so and went on to praise the quality of the players who have joined the club during his time in charge, all of whom were brought in with Moody at his side.

"I am delighted about the performance and the three points for our fans, our staff and our players as they have had a tough three or four weeks to endure," he said.

"For us to come out with a performance like that and three points and put a smile on the face of everyone in Cardiff is something that really pleases me more than anything else.

"We have worked hard here for two and a half years, in terms of my staff and the players we have brought to the club over the last two and half years to get to a point like this.

"We want to make sure we are here next year in this division because it is fantastic and it puts smiles on the faces of everyone and today goes a long way to helping with that."

Caulker was an imperious presence as he skippered the Bluebirds to the three points, and Mackay admitted the England defender has been a "crucial" addition to the Bluebirds squad.

"The signing of Caulker was crucial. I couldn't believe we actually got him, certainly for the price we ended up paying," he said.

"He was brave to step out of being in a squad like Tottenham's, but he did it with the best intentions for his football career and not for his pocket.

"It is great credit for his future career and future England career and I think he is going to have a long one.

"He is our captain. We did our homework on him and were able to get him."

Laudrup, meanwhile, admitted the Swansea dressing room was a miserable place to be.

"Disappointment is the only way to describe the feeling in our dressing room," he said.

"I have tried it myself - I have been on the winning side and the losing side in derby games.

"It's always easy to brag when you win, but sometimes you have to stand up even when the other team come out on top.

"You have to take the defeat and say: 'Okay we lost this time'.

"You have to accept it - and remember there's always a next time.

"We all knew how important this game was - to the fans, the players, the staff, everybody.

"Losing is always a disappointment - but it is even more in these games."

Laudrup also confirmed that Michu will miss the upcoming games with Kuban Krasnodar and Stoke after picking up an ankle injury which forced him off in the second half.

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