Belfast Telegraph

Mackay has long-term Bluebirds aim

Malky Mackay may have endured a torrid few weeks but the Scot insists he wants to remain in charge of Cardiff for the long-term.

The Scot's position at Cardiff City Stadium has been under scrutiny since his head of recruitment Iain Moody was removed from his role and replaced on an acting basis by Alisher Apsalyamov, a man with no known experience of top-level football.

Apsalyamov is not currently operating for the Bluebirds in an official capacity while his visa documentation is assessed by the Home Office.

Reports that Tan has attempted to interfere in on-field matters and bought striker Etien Velikonja without Mackay's approval have just added to the spotlight on the club and their manager.

But Mackay, having guided the Bluebirds to derby glory against Swansea last weekend, insists he is fully committed to the club.

"We are all working to ensure Cardiff City is again playing top-level football next season," he told a press conference.

"I want to be talking to the media in a year's time as Cardiff City manager in the Premier League.

"We relish being in the Premier League in terms of players and fans. Our aim is to be the best we can be and finish as high as we can.

"I am proud to be manager here. We have worked hard as a staff for two-and-a-half years to take our beliefs forward, mould our squad to the point we have reached now.

"We will keep moving forward and make sure everything we do is for the best of Cardiff City. I will always do my best and that will never change."

Mackay will hope there is no hangover from the derby success when Cardiff travel to face Aston Villa on Saturday.

The fixture takes midfielder Peter Whittingham back to the club he started his career with before leaving to join Cardiff in 2007.

The 29-year-old has not played a league match at Villa Park since his move, and admits it will be special to return to face Paul Lambert's side.

"I came through the youth set-up at Villa," said Whittingham. "They played a massive part in my career and made me the player I am today. It's going to be a great occasion and a match from which we can earn three points.

"Villa have a lot of young players and it will take time. They will make mistakes, but their manager knows what he is doing. He will nurture them and Villa will be okay in the long run.

"It's a massive club with a great history. But our job is to do all we can to win and that's what I am focused on."

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