THE STARS GET TOUGHER THE MALKY WAY

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE -

CARDIFF aren’t blow­ing it this time. Like count­less oth­ers, I nearly bought into the be­lief that the Blue­birds were chok­ers. That suc­ces­sive fail­ures on the big stage had eroded their col­lec­tive psy­che. So when they lost 2-1 to Peter­bor­ough at the end of March, I was just one of many who raised an eye­brow and snig­gered:‘Here we go again’.

But this Cardiff City side is not the tal­ented but frag­ile bunch of years gone by. Those play­ers are largely gone, sold or jet­ti­soned by man­ager Malky Mackay.

In their place he has as­sem­bled a side whose pri­mary qual­ity is their men­tal tough­ness; a team who have lost suc­ces­sive matches just once all sea­son.They may not have be­daz­zled the di­vi­sion like Swansea did, nor over­pow­ered it like New­cas­tle, but in their un­wa­ver­ing be­lief and abil­ity to churn out re­sults, Cardiff are just as im­pres­sive. BLACK­POOL man­ager Paul Ince is of­ten car­i­ca­tured as tetchy arro-gant,but and

the former Man skip­per ev­i­dently United

has a fine sense hu­mour. How else of

can you ex­plain claim that son Thomas

his is worth £25m? “If you’re talk­ing

£15m for Zaha, has got to be £25m,” Thomas

he said. “If you com-pare the two, Thomas

should cost more.” Ince is good, and

maybe com­pa­ra­ble with Zaha at a push.

But only a comedi-an­would say he

was worth £1.3m more than Juan

Mata, cur­rently the best player

in the Pre­mier League.

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