Mackay revels in promotion

Leon Barnett was held up after Cardiff fans invaded the pitch following their promotion to the Premier League

Leon Barnett was held up after Cardiff fans invaded the pitch following their promotion to the Premier League

First published in National Sport News © by

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay paid tribute to the club's long-suffering supporters after ending a 51-year wait for top-flight football in the Welsh capital.

The delirious Bluebirds fans invaded the pitch to lift their heroes on their shoulders after the goalless draw with Charlton secured their first appearance in the Barclays Premier League. The City faithful have suffered play-off and cup final heartache on a regular basis in recent years and Mackay says the success is for them.

"I am very proud of the football club," he said. "It is an occasion the people of this football club have waited an awful long time for."

He added: "There has been a lot of disappoint in that time and the backroom staff and directors here have been through some tough times. Obviously the players and especially the people of Cardiff have been waiting a long time to be back in the top division and we've never been in the Premier League.

"They have backed me and the team in the last 18 months and for that I'll be forever grateful. I hope this goes a little way to repaying the backing they have given me since I came in."

Thoughts now turn to the challenge that awaits Mackay's promotion winners next season as they join arch-rivals Swansea at English football's top table.

The Scot revealed they have plans in place that they can now put into action in the coming months as the Cardiff City Stadium prepares to welcome the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

"Its a huge challenge," he said. "We are going into the one of the best leagues in the world. We are going to plan properly, that has started already and we will now put that in action. We will make sure the structure we have put in place keeps striding forward and keeps adding because change is constant.

"We have been doing that for two years, changing and adapting and pushing at the envelope and we will continue doing that to make sure we give ourselves the best chance in the Premier League.

"We have been competitive in this league, every team we have played in the last 20 months we have been competitive against. That will not change in the Premier League."

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