Cardiff's Malky Mackay unhappy with League Cup schedule

Kenny Miller
Scotland's Kenny Miller is among the Cardiff players on international duty

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay has questioned the scheduling of the Carling Cup first round.

The Bluebirds face Oxford United on Wednesday without eight first-team players, who are on international duty.

Mackay believes the competition's first round should be held prior to the opening weekend of the season.

"For us to be asked to play this with eight players away disappoints me," said Mackay.

Mackay's side travel to the Kassam Stadium on the same evening that the Cardiff City Stadium hosts the Wales v Australia friendly.

Rob Earnshaw and Darcy Blake are with Wales, while Scottish trio Kevin McNaughton, Don Cowie and Kenny Miller are preparing for the match against Denmark.

In addition Aron Gunnarsson is with Iceland, Dekel Keinan is on duty with Israel and Joe Mason has been selected for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad.

And Mackay is unhappy he will be without those players for the Carling Cup tie against League Two side Oxford United.

"I find that remarkable that we're playing a cup game when we've got eight players missing on international duty," said the former Scotland defender.

"It was a decision taken by the clubs and the league. Personally I think they should play this round the week before the season starts.

"It would look as if we were putting out a weakened team if we did this on a normal basis and maybe punished for it.

"But it's the way it is. There's nothing I can do and we'll be making sure we go with everything we've got.

"That will include youth team players that haven't had any sign of even training with us before.

"We're going to have a tough game against Oxford. We'll apply ourselves properly and will be going there to make sure we try and win.

"But it doesn't help if you've got so many first-team players missing."