Belfast Telegraph

Mackay relishing City test

Malky Mackay has vowed that his Cardiff side will not shy away from the challenge when they face big-spending Manchester City at Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday.

The Welsh capital will host a Barclays Premier League game for the first time, and the Bluebirds could hardly have wished for higher profile visitors.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini has recruited the likes of Jesus Navas, Fernandinho and Alvaro Negredo during the summer, and the deposed champions produced a real statement of intent in brushing Newcastle aside 4-0 on Monday night.

Cardiff, on the other hand, are looking to bounce back from the disappointment of their opening day defeat at West Ham, and there will be few giving them any chance of getting a result.

But their home form last season was key in their Championship title success, and Mackay and his side have no intention of surrendering meekly.

"We have got to try and make our stadium a fortress," said the Scot. "We have to make sure that it is a tough ask for any team that comes down to our stadium.

"I have no doubt the way our fans will be this season in terms of their ferocity, support and passion for our club and the way our stadium is, it will lend itself to noise, like we had last season.

"We will have tough teams coming, top teams coming here and it will be a test for us. But we are relishing that."

But Mackay is well aware of just how difficult a proposition City will be given the confident swagger they displayed against Newcastle.

"I thought they were excellent on Monday," he said.

"After 20 minutes it was slightly slanted because of the sending off and they played a slightly different formation obviously, but at the same time, the players playing out there were excellent.

"I look at the players they have coming off the bench and the impact they have as well. They are a top team.

"It's nice to get back to our home ground but we realise that we are playing one of the top teams in the league and there is a task ahead of us.

"But after Monday night you see the way that team played, they are warming to their new manager quite quickly. So we realise the task in hand."

Mackay may hand a debut to summer signing Andreas Cornelius as the Danish striker has recovered from an ankle injury, while Andrew Taylor returns from suspension to take over from teenager Declan John at left-back.

The former Watford boss remains hopeful of making further additions to his squad, having broken the club's transfer record three times during the transfer window, but ruled out a move for Paris St-Germain's former Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko.

He said: "We are trying to do more business before the window closes but I think we are in the same boat as every other team at the moment.

"We are trying to find the best players we can but we will only bring someone in if we think that player can improve us. But that player is not someone we are looking at."

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