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Fighting spirit vital for Cardiff

Monday 2nd September 2013 10:30

Malky Mackay: Has equipped the side to deal with life in the Premier League

Malky Mackay: Has equipped the side to deal with life in the Premier League

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Cardiff FanZoner Ivor Castle feels Malky Mackay has the squad well organised and will cause a great deal of concern for the visiting teams.

Cardiff managed another creditable performance and secured another point in their quest for Premier League survival against Everton on Saturday.

As against Manchester City it was a gritty defensive performance with high energy and intense pressure. The Bluebirds were constantly chasing opposing players and closing the space around their own penalty box.

There was no real creativity from Everton and Roberto Martinez's men took very few risks not wanting to give the ball away and find themselves countered by the pace of Fraizer Campbell, Craig Bellamy and Kim Bo-Kyung. As a result the 0-0 scoreline was richly deserved by both teams.

The fact that Everton played the game so carefully showed great respect to Malky Mackay's tactical awareness and the Bluebird's talent. The Toffees only real chance came off a deflected Nikica Jelavic header that David Marshall in the Cardiff goal adjusted too superbly and kept out with a magnificent reflex save.

Bellamy wasted Cardiff's best chance when rounding Everton keeper Tim Howard but he over hit the ball in the process and the opportunity was lost.

The visitors had a good shout for a penalty when Leighton Baines went down as City midfielder Gary Medel went to ground but it was one of those might have been, might not have beens. On this occasion it wasn't. Cardiff can consider themselves fortunate as those are the kind of decisions the more fancied team often gets against the smaller clubs in the Premier League. On such small margins are games won and lost or even tied.

What the game showed again was Cardiff's resilience, concentration and focus. The question is how long can they keep this up? I have to say I felt tired and emotionally drained at the end of each game; it's unimaginable what the players and staff must be feeling.

I was also pleased to see Cardiff add two new signings in unknown defenders Kevin Theophile-Catherine from Rennes and centre-back Maximiliano Amondarain from CA Progresso-Montevideo. The Frenchman is an under-21 international and Amondarain has been capped at under-20 level by Uruguay.

Theophile (as I hope he will be called) can play anywhere across the back four while Amondarain is a central defender. I hope Theophile can take over from Matt Connolly at right full-back as I believe the former QPR man is struggling at this level despite his fully committed performances. I'm sure Malky Mackay also has summer signing and right-back John Brayford in his plans for those games when a more attack oriented line-up is required.

With the window closing today I hope Mackay can conjure up an attacking wide man or another forward, perhaps both before the deadline hour is up.

With the international break ahead at least we can take a breath and look forward to Hull City with confidence, a breath not something Cardiff's many international players can look forward to.

By Ivor Castle.

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