Whittingham key to Quality Bluebirds

Last updated : 26 May 2012 By Michael Morris

Mackay took Cardiff to a Carling Cup final and the play offs in his first season and he knows that the fanbase will be looking towards a promotion effort again this season.


Key to that will be a quality squad and Malky is looking to add better players to the ranks while keeping hold of his star man Peter Whittingham (pictured, bottom right, about to score at Crystal Palace).

"I want my good players to be here and I think there's more improvement in him again," said Mackay of Whittingham.

"Peter is one of my key players and he's under contract here for another three years."

"I think he's a top class young man, someone that works hard every day at training," Mackay told BBC Wales Sport.

"Good players are always linked with clubs. That's always going to be the case.

"You would hope some of your players are linked with football clubs because it means they're doing something right."

"We obviously understand and realise that we've got to have more strength in depth. We've got to work hard this summer," said Mackay.

"It's not about an exact number of people, it's trying to make sure that we get the best quality in here that we can get that can adapt and fit into the culture of Cardiff City.

"It's about getting people that fit the ethos of the club and the ethos of the way I want the club to work and the way the players want to work. They've got to come in and fit into that.

"There's a good group there now and it can be easily wrecked by bringing in the wrong type of character or the wrong person with the wrong attitude."

After replacing Dave Jones as Cardiff boss in June 2011, Mackay inherited a squad which had lost 12 players.

But compared to last summer's upheaval the ex-Celtic defender says he will have more time during this close season to add to his squad.

"You want to sign your players 10 minutes after the season finishes," said Mackay. "Everybody wants to sign all their players.

"Invariably it doesn't happen like that and if you look back to last year I never really started until the first few days of July.

"We managed to bring 10 players into the club in a very short space of time. I know we're ahead of that this year."