Cardiff City Stadium

Next Game

Cardiff v Blackpool

Saturday, 25 April 2015, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Cardiff City Stadium

Last Game

Cardiff 0 - 0 Millwall

Saturday, 18 April 2015, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Fair Play to Cardiff

As a player Malky Mackay was never daunted and embraced a never-say-die attitude.

Last Updated: 19/04/13 at 12:56 Post Comment

Malky Mackay: centre of attention after guiding Cardiff back to the top flight

Malky Mackay: centre of attention after guiding Cardiff back to the top flight

Those same qualities have stood him in good stead as Cardiff manager and I'm delighted he has won promotion to the Premier League.

Malky has succeeded where many managers have failed in the 51 long years since Cardiff were last in the top tier, and as a big club it's good to see them back there because a capital city needs to have representation in the Premier League.

With League Cup winners Swansea doing themselves proud in the top flight, these are great times for football in south Wales - and what an atmosphere there will be when those two rivals go head-to-head next season!

You can always rely on a Welsh crowd to give their side fantastic support, whatever the sport, and Cardiff is going to be a difficult place for any side to go to - just ask any of the Championship sides who have made the trip there (with the exception of Peterborough!).

Generally speaking they've earned promotion without spending loads of money. They did bring Frazier Campbell in during January but on the whole Malky has stuck with players he trusts to deliver.

It will be interesting to see if that remains his mantra this summer.

Famously, Malky won promotion as a player with three different sides but was jettisoned twice without playing a game in the top flight before he finally got there with Watford.

I wonder how that will affect his transfer policy? Will he look back and think that he doesn't want his players to go through the same experience and give them the chance? It certainly seems to be more 'en vogue' as the way to go now.

Ambition

Under Malky's management Cardiff have become well-organised and they stuck to their style of play even when they had a couple of wobbles during the season.

In my view, they've been the best team in the Championship by some distance. Mind you - and this is not to tarnish their success at all - it has been a pretty ordinary league this season.

Peter Whittingham - a midfielder I've always liked - was a key player for them early on in the season and he scored some very important goals, although they did rather dry up.

Likewise Heidar Helguson hasn't scored many in the second half of the season but has always been a decent target man to have up front.

When he's in the side, Craig Bellamy is still explosive and is capable of making a difference. I know it has always been his ambition to play for Cardiff in the Premier League and I hope he does.

Difficult

Cardiff will almost certainly take the place of Reading, QPR or one other in the Premier League.

There has been plenty of talk this week about which players QPR will have to get rid of to reduce their wage bill if that scenario transpires.

While I have some sympathy for Harry Redknapp, who came into the job at an impossible time, I do think Rangers should thank their lucky stars that the dice are loaded between the Premier League and the Championship in such a way that the teams that go down can have a great chance of coming straight back up.

I say that because the further down the leagues you go, the dice are loaded against that happening. It applies to any club but just indulge me for a moment and look at Hartlepool as a classic case in point!

For most of the season we've struggled to balance the amount that we are allowed to spend on players' wages and transfer fees as a viable percentage of our turnover - an amount we can't exceed.

When you drop down a division, as we're about to do from League One to League Two, the percentage of your turnover that you are allowed to spend on players decreases so clubs that are relegated have to reduce their wage bill immediately - and are not even on a level playing field with the sides in the division that they are going down into.

The long and the short of it is that Hartlepool will have to reduce player wages by a certain percentage before we're allowed to start signing players again.

The players that we most want to hang on to are the ones we are most likely to lose because their hand is being forced by the Financial Fair Play at that level, which means that they have to sell their few prized assets.

A lot of Hartlepool fans have asked me this week if we'll come straight back, which we did the last time we were relegated. But it's darn difficult if you know that you might have to do it without key players like Luke James, Jack Baldwin and Scott Flinders - players who clubs at a higher level will certainly be looking at.

It will be very difficult to hang onto them.

Jeff's Gem of the Week

Plymouth are not quite safe yet but they've given themselves a fantastic chance after winning five games in seven, including the midweek 2-1 victory away at Chesterfield. I thought John Sheridan was pretty harshly treated when he lost his job at Chesterfield but he's proving once again that he is a high-quality manager who perhaps deserves a chance higher up. Hopefully he'll get that chance one day because somehow he's transformed Plymouth's fortunes without funds or goal-scorers! Jason Banton's loan spell produced six goals but he has now returned to Crystal Palace and none of Plymouth's permanent staff have got more than five - yet somehow Plymouth have conjured up these victories. Home Park is a proper football ground and it would be nice to see the good times back.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

f Klopp is available and willing to go there, they have to sign him up. Far better manager than Rodgers. The reason Liverpool fail in so many big games is the inflexible nature of their manager and his inability to find strikers who fit into his inflexible style of play. A feature of nearly every game that the team comes up short is the way the opposition midfield appears to overpower them. It's too easy.

Gab1965
Make Way For A Proper Genius, Brendan

B

est player award should not go to a player who's second best at all the importent categories (i.e goals, assists etc) just because his team is at the top. If you are not first you are last; if you're second you are the first loser ( looking at you Hazard). David De Gea for POTY.

mrbigstuff
Chelsea Not Worthy? Oh Please Stop It...

Y

ou can win five in a row or lose five in a row... Or in Carver's case you can win one in a row or lose five in a row.

black_waltz
Carver: I'm up to the job

Footer 365

Tom Cleverley credits Tim Sherwood for turning around Villa's fortunes

Tom Cleverley says Aston Villa have been transformed by Tim Sherwood's attacking mentality.

Tottenham move perfect for me, says Dele Alli

Dele Alli is looking forward to getting his Tottenham career started and feels it will be good for him to work under Mauricio Pochettino.

Robin van Persie plays first game in nine weeks for Man Utd

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie got an hour's play under his belt on Monday in his first game since February.

Mail Box

Klopp Over Rodgers? Not On Your Nelly

Liverpool fans have short memories and should give Rodgers more time, while Jose's tactics and claims are getting many more in a stew. It's the afternoon Mailbox...

Thank You And Goodbye, Mr Rodgers

The genius of Tactics Tim, time is up for Rodgers, the curious case of Eric Lamela, and the flaws of tactical voting - today's Mailbox is bursting at the seams...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company