Tuesday 16 April 2013
Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay said he was looking forward to his side playing in "one of the best leagues in the world" after the Welsh outfit sealed promotion to the Barclays Premier League for the first time.
"It’s a huge challenge. We are going into one of the best leagues in the world"
Delighted Bluebirds fans swarmed on to the pitch to mob the players after a goalless home draw with Charlton Athletic guaranteed a top-two finish in the Championship and ended Cardiff’s 51-year absence from the English top flight.
Amid the jubilant scenes at the Cardiff City Stadium, Mackay insisted that after having waited so long to reach the promised land of the Barclays Premier League, the club fully intended to stay there.
"It’s a huge challenge," he said. "We are going into 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."
Mackay, who joined Cardiff from Watford in June 2011 dedicated the promotion to the club’s long-suffering supporters, who were following their team in the fourth tier only 11 years ago and who had lost out for a place in the Barclays Premier League at the play-off stage for the last three seasons in succession.
"The players and 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"
"I am very proud of the football club," said the 41-year-old Scotsman, whose side are 13 points clear of third-placed Watford with three matches remaining.
"It is an occasion the people of this football club have waited an awful long time for. There has been a lot of disappointment in that time and the backroom staff and directors here have been through some tough times.
"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."