Cardiff cherish their big day
AN emotional Malky Mackay admitted it was a day he would never forget as Cardiff City were presented with the Championship trophy in the Welsh capital.
The Bluebirds boss presided over emotional scenes as his players took a lap of honour in front of their own fans and the club will now experience topflight football for the first time in more than half a century.
Bolton are still well in the hunt to join the Bluebirds in the Premier League with this point meaning their play-off fortunes are in their own hands with a win at home to Blackpool on the last day surely seeing the Trotters into the play-offs.
“To win promotion against Charlton was fan- tastic, to win the title at Burnley was great, but to lift the trophy at home in front of our fans is something that will live with me forever,” said Mackay.
“I’ve tried to make sure everyone feels included at this club from fans, to staff to families because they have sacrificed a lot so this was for all of them.
“I have great pride in everyone at the club. I asked a lot of people to join me here two years ago.
“They came with me, they showed loyalty and I’m delighted for them as well as the people already here who have been through a lot of different emotions over the last few years.”
Cardiff really should have been ahead within 30 seconds mind. Kim Bo-Kyung’s shot was blocked in the box and fell to Jordon Mutch, but his shot was saved by Adam Bogdan.
On 18 minutes Bolton took the lead. Great work from Sam Ricketts down the right saw the Wales international cross and Chris Eagles was there to fire confidently home from 12 yards out. It could have been better for Freedman’s men just after the half hour, but David Marshall brilliantly saved Darren Pratley’s shot.
The turning point really was Mackay’s decision to introduce Craig Noone just before the hour. Within five minutes Noone’s cross found Tommy Smith at the back stick and it seemed Cardiff would be level, but Bogdan got across brilliantly to push the shot away.
But within there minutes the Bluebirds had the goal that helped get the party started and it was sheer class from Noone as his left-foot free-kick from a good 25 yards out curled round the Bolton wall to hit the net with Bogdan this time helpless.
There were chances for both sides to win, but, as the celebrations began a draw seemed a fair result. Dougie Freedman indeed was left contented.
“It was a great point for us. I don’t think we did enough to win the game,” said the Bolton boss. “But showed our quality, particularly in the first-half and we deserved something from the game for the character we showed.
“We defended very. All in all it was a fantastic point.
“It keeps our fate in our own hands and if you'd said to me when I took over the job and we were in 17th position that in the last game it was in our hands to get in the play-offs I would have taken that.
“It’s been a good days work for us. But it really is Malky’s day. He’s a good man, he’s done a great job and he’s taken his side to the Premier League. All in all it is a very good point for us.”
CHAMPIONS: Cardiff celebrate with the trophy after winning the Championship and gaining promotion to the Premier League