Cardiff in battle for play-offs says Malky Mackay

Malky Mackay
Mackay sees 75 points as the target for the Championship play-offs

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay has warned his players the battle for a play-off place could go down to the end of the season.

But Mackay believes there are still a lot of clubs capable of making the play-offs.

"There's still a lot of points to play and if anyone can hit a run of games anyone can get up there," said Mackay.

"There's bags of points to go for at the moment. You can look at teams all the way down the league and if you look most teams have hit a vein of form.

"There are teams that are doing it just now, there are teams coming out of it and that teams that I'm sure will start going into it again.

"Everyone knows the points tally to get into the play-offs is round about 75 points. That's your target to get into the play-offs and that's where teams right down to even bottom half of the table can still do that.

"I think two years ago on the second last day of the season QPR were the only team in mid-table who couldn't be promoted or relegated. That just shows you how tight the league is."

Cardiff's play-off hopes suffered a setback last weekend when they went down 3-1 at home to Blackpool and then watched as Birmingham City went a place above them in midweek with a 1-0 win over Portsmouth.

The Blackpool reversal was Cardiff's second defeat in 17 games and Mackay is confident his side can put it behind them.

"We had the debriefing on Tuesday and it comes down to the fact that too many players weren't up to their usual standards against Blackpool," he said.

"It's something that's not happened very often this season though and we've had a very good week's training off the back of it.

"We've been competitive all season and Blackpool was just our second defeat in 17.

"We have a group here who are tough; they are resilient and want to play for each other every week. We want to make sure they are back on it again now at Leicester."

Cardiff's away form has been one of their main strengths this season and a draw at Leicester City on Saturday would make it 10 games on the road unbeaten.

Mackay puts down that form to his players getting to know each other through the campaign.

"Momentum builds, confidence builds and the resilience of the team has built as the season has gone on," he said.

Mackay is wary of Leicester despite them sitting in 13th place, 11 points behind the Bluebirds.

"They [Leicester] have got a massive squad of players who can play in the Championship because they put two different teams out against us in the space of four days," he added.

"They are still adding to that and are a very wealthy club with a new manager in Nigel [Perason]. They have great talent and depth.

"They have got a depth of talent to their squad.

"At the start of the season Leicester were tipped to go a straight up because of their financial clout and who is to say that's still not the case."

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