Cardiff boss Malky Mackay says dispute could lead to relegation

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I thought I would be sacked - Mackay

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay has admitted the club's off-field problems could affect their bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan sent Mackay an email recently telling him to resign or he would be sacked - but Tan has since lifted the threat.

Mackay admitted he expected to be dismissed after refusing to quit.

Asked if the situation may hinder their hopes of staying up, he replied: "Yes, absolutely."

Cardiff's 3-1 defeat by Liverpool on Saturday left them 15th in the table, four points above the relegation zone.

The departure of Mackay, who guided Cardiff to promotion last season, looked imminent after the defeat at Anfield.

But Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman then released a statement on Sunday that indicated Mackay would remain in charge for the "foreseeable future".

Dalman is trying to repair the fractured relationship between manager and owner.

"You can't have your dirty linen washed in public every week of the year without it affecting the club," continued Mackay.

"I'm not saying it immediately affects the players because that's my job to make sure I protect them."

Tan, a 61-year-old businessman from Malaysia who bought a controlling stake in Cardiff in 2010, is understood to be unhappy at an apparent overspend on players and has also been critical of Cardiff's style of play.

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Mackay's Cardiff farewell?

Dalman hopes Tan and Mackay will meet for talks soon, although Mackay said the meeting might not take place until the end of the week.

For now, the Scot is fully focused on Cardiff's upcoming games as they look to move away from the bottom three relegation places.

The Bluebirds have two home fixtures over the festive period, with Southampton visiting on Boxing Day before bottom-of-the-table Sunderland arrive in south Wales on Saturday, 28 December.

"I want to make sure we stay in this league," added Mackay.

"There's a steely determination to make sure everything is done to protect the players so we've got the best chance to stay in this league."

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