Just one more point, Malky

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Steve Tucker

CARDIFF CITY man­ager Malky Mackay in­sisted it will be busi­ness as usual for his side de­spite near hys­te­ria in the Welsh cap­i­tal as he and his men close in on the Pre­mier League.

Af­ter this de­served win over a For­est side who played the en­tire sec­ond-half with ten men af­ter Dar­ius Hen­der­son was red­carded, Cardiff need just one point from their last four games to earn pro­mo­tion. In­deed if they avoid de­feat at home to Charlton on Tues­day they will clinch pro­mo­tion to the top-flight for the first time since 1960.

Ex­cit­ing times in south Wales, but no-non­sense Mackay in­sists the hype and ex­pec­ta­tion will not in­fringe on him and his play­ers.

“I would imag­ine now there won't be a ticket to be had for Tues­day night,” said the Cardiff boss.

“We go into it in the same way we did for this game and the same way we have all sea­son. We know it's go­ing to be a tough game against Charlton.

“But For­est were a team in form and we went toe-to-toe with them. It can be hard to play against ten men.

“I was pleased with the way we played up to the send­ing off. We started great and then we got the goal. Then af­ter the send­ing off to be fair we were ab­so­lutely on the money too.”

Af­ter sea­sons of heart­break and near misses in re­cent years, a record crowd in the Welsh cap­i­tal could be for­given for feel­ing ner­vous as their side edge to­wards the fin­ish­ing line, but a goal by veteran striker Hei­dar Hel­gu­son on 24 min­utes helped ease those jit­ters and the red card ended the game as a con­test.

Hen­der­son was spot­ted throw­ing an arm at Hel­gu­son. It was in­cred­i­bly fool­ish and was re­spon­si­ble for a de­feat, For­est's first in 11 games, that dropped Davies' men out of the play-off places. Although the Reds boss had no com­plaints about the dis­missal

Hel­gu­son ac­tu­ally made way at half-time with a tight calf to be re­placed by French striker, Rudy Gest­ede, and it was his two thun­der­ous head­ers in the sec­ond pe­riod which killed For­est off.

Craig Bel­lamy set up his side's first goal, curl­ing a free­kick into the back post where Hel­gu­son was lurk­ing un­marked to head home.

The home side dom­i­nated the sec­ond-half too af­ter the send­ing off. On the hour Bel­lamy's free-kick hit the post, it was crossed back in by An­drew Tay­lor and Gest­ede's won­der­ful hang­ing header made it two and then the 24-year-old striker

JONNY MOULDS – CARDIFF

IT’S SURELY just a mat­ter of time be­fore the Blue­birds take flight and pre­pare for life in the Pre­mier League af­ter all but en­sur­ing pro­mo­tion with yes­ter­day’s 3-0 vic­tory.

Hei­dar Hel­gu­son eased the nerves around the Cardiff City Sta­dium with the open­ing goal be­fore a Dar­ius Hen­der­son send­ing off gave the home side the in­ti­ta­tive.

With the nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage, Malky Mackay’s side pressed on, even­tu­ally adding to their slen­der ad­van­tage with a Rudy Gest­ede brace.

FAN NAME – NOTT’M FOR­EST

I REALLY thought we could go and take ad­van­tage of Cardiff’s nerves when I set off – I couldn’t have been more wrong and we were lucky to get nil! Cardiff could hardly have hoped for an eas­ier af­ter­noon once Dar­ius Hen­der­son got him­self sent off and the wor­ries over his dis­ci­pline have been proved right.

They were al­ready a goal up at that stage and in the sec­ond half it was noth­ing more than a prac­tice match for them – it cer­tainly showed the gulf in class be­tween the teams and I’m now look­ing over my shoul­der. made it three.

“We were down to ten men and beaten by what is ef­fec­tively a Pre­mier League team. We just have to move on," said Davies.

“Hav­ing watched it Dar­ius didn't in­ten­tion­ally put his hand up to the boy's face. But it has con­nected and un­der the rules I've got no com­plaint.

"Cardiff started the bet­ter then I thought we con­trolled it, but then they scored a goal. All the goals we lost were dis­ap­point­ing.

"We’ve not lost in ten games and we had to lose at some point. There’s four games to go and we know we need at least two wins. It’s the po­si­tion at the end of the sea­son that’s im­por­tant not now.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

WE’RE ON OUR WAY: Rudy Gest­ede scores Cardiff City’s sec­ond

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