• The Championship

Mackay hails fans after promotion

ESPN staff
April 17, 2013
Malky Mackay has guided Cardiff City to the Premier League © Getty Images

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay has thanked the club's faithful supporters after his side ended a 51-year wait for promotion to the top flight in a 0-0 draw with Charlton on Tuesday.

The result guaranteed the Bluebirds automatic promotion to the Premier League next season with three games remaining in the Championship.

After a number of near misses in recent years - including a defeat to West Ham in last season's play-offs - Cardiff will join Swansea as the second Welsh side in the Premier League.

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

"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."

Mackay believes Cardiff will make an easy transition into the top flight, unlike Reading who look likely to return to the Championship after being promoted last season.

"It's 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."

Cardiff need three more points to seal the Championship and forward Craig Bellamy insists the Welsh side will not be content until the title is wrapped up.

"We wanted to get the game won and get it over with," he said. "It's just nice to get over the finish line. We can see where we go in the next couple of weeks and finish it off properly as champions."

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