Malky hails his cham­pi­ons!

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Ross Mclean

EVEN David Edgar’s last-minute equaliser was not go­ing to spoil Malky Mackay’s mood as Cardiff City clinched their first-ever Cham­pi­onship ti­tle at Turf Moor.

Craig Con­way’s first-half ef­fort looked like be­ing enough for a vic­tory for the Welsh side, who sealed their pro­mo­tion to the Pre­mier League on Tues­day night.

Edgar’s late lev­eller meant Mackay’s troops had to set­tle for a draw but that was enough to con­firm their corona­tion, and a first league ti­tle since they topped the old Di­vi­sion Four in 1992-93.

And, with the Pre­mier League to now plan for, Mackay was quick to pay trib­ute to his side’s men­tal for­ti­tude in stand­ing firm at the sum­mit of the ta­ble. He said:“It’s ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic and I’m de­lighted for ev­ery­one at­tached to the foot­ball club.

“It was a tremen­dous feel­ing on Tues­day night but we wanted to go and win the ti­tle and get that medal.We have been sit­ting top since late Novem­ber and it’s been an aw­ful long time for us to be chased and ex­am­ined and the play­ers de­serve it.

“I’m de­lighted we’ve had the men­tal strength, the char­ac­ter and con­sis­tency to keep go­ing.

“It’s re­lent­less been

and we’ve had a men­tal strength to be­lieve we de­serve to be there.

“Most peo­ple get to watch his­tory hap­pen; very few peo­ple get the chance to make his­tory.

“And for the play­ers to be able to do that for the city of Cardiff then it’s some­thing I am very proud of.”

Cardiff made a bright start with Rudy Gest­ede fir­ing nar­rowly over from the edge of the area in the sec­ond minute af­ter be­ing teed-up nicely by Craig Noone.

Burnley keeper Lee Grant was forced to turn be­hind Con­way’s de­flected cross from the left in the 18th minute af­ter the winger col­lected Aron Gun­nars­son’s pass.

The Blue­birds threat­ened again two min­utes later as South Korean in­ter­na­tional Kim BoKyung shot wide from dis­tance.

But the Blue­birds did not have to wait long as they took the lead in the 27th minute af­ter BoKyung played in Con­way who curled a right-footed ef­fort past the out-stretched dive of Grant.

Burnley – miss­ing lead­ing scorer Char­lie Austin – barely threat­ened un­til the hour mark when Ja­son Shack­ell’s header from Kieran Trip­pier’s free-kick was saved by David Mar­shall.

But sub­sti­tute Edgar rescued a pre­cious point for Burnley in stop­page-time as he headed home Trip­pier’s cross from the right flank to leave boss Sean Dy­che breath­ing a sigh of re­lief.

“I felt we de­served the equaliser and we could have won it,” he said.“We had a chat at half-time where I told the lads to re­lax and play with free­dom and en­ergy.

“And I thought sec­ond half we found that en­ergy, that ef­fer­ves­cence and that free­dom to play a bit more and had some good pock­ets of play.

“There were some real pos­i­tives af­ter the break and we showed we have some­thing to build on next week.

“We were up against a team who are mar­ket lead­ers and I knew Malky would go hard and over­all you would take a point against a team that has just won the Cham­pi­onship.”

WE ARE GO­ING UP: Ju­bi­lant Cardiff cel­e­brate be­com­ing cham­pi­ons at Burnley

PIC­TURE: TFLP Pho­tog­ra­pher

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