Cardiff City’s Malky Mackay hails Chris Hughton’s work at Norwich City
- Credit: PA
Malky Mackay is a confirmed admirer of Chris Hughton's ability to build on Paul Lambert's legacy at Carrow Road.
The Cardiff boss admits the scale of his fellow Scot's achievements in guiding the Canaries from the depths of League One were always going to present a challenge to his successor.
'I think Chris has gone in there and he has had to follow the job done by Paul and that was always going to be tough,' said Mackay. 'But he's picked up some good results and they finished in a very respectable position last season. He's a good manager, very professional and very modern in his outlook. And he's got a very good number two with him there in Colin Calderwood.
'We are facing a side who I think have got experience throughout their team. They have invested again and there are guys who have played together for many years. I think the atmosphere, the tight pitch, always make for a tough game at Carrow Road. I have never had an easy one and that included when I played there. We'll be going there looking for a positive result, but we are aware how difficult a game it is going to be. It is another away game so we are under no illusions we are going to have to be at our very best to get anything.'
Mackay knows the value of taking points from a potential Premier League rival in the battle to survive.
'Anytime we play a team that is outside of the top six if you like then people are going to believe that we are in with a chance,' he said. 'The truth is that every game we play is going to be really difficult in this division. Every game is vital for us. We need to be balanced about the way we approach things now. We can't be too up if things go well or too down if they go against us. We just need to keep preparing ourselves in the correct way.'
Mackay confirmed former City trainee Craig Bellamy is back in his squad after being rested for the recent 4-1 Premier League defeat at Chelsea.
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'He'll be back where he started his career,' said Mackay. 'He really burst onto the scene as a youngster at Norwich. He did really well there. He's fondly remembered.
'He's absolutely part of my squad. There will be weeks when he starts and weeks when he's on the bench and some weeks when he's rested and not involved. He is maturing and he realises that. He knows to give the best he can his body has to be in the best condition and if that means he's not starting one week or he's rested then that's the way it must be.But he's such a good influence.'