Self-belief can propel Cardiff, says Marshall


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The Independent Football

The Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall says that self-belief will be vital for the Bluebirds when they travel to face surprise package Derby in the Championship tonight.

Sunday's 1-1 draw against Leeds at Elland Road, in which Scotland cap Marshall played a starring role, has left Cardiff in the lower reaches of the top 10, three points adrift of Nigel Clough's Rams, who occupy a play-off spot.

But Malky Mackay's side could have been in an even better position had they managed to capitalise on some promising positions they let slip on the road. The Bluebirds squandered leads at Portsmouth, Blackpool and Leeds, while also missing out on a point at Hull.

And Marshall says Mackay's squad need to show more belief, particularly given the quality they showed in victories over Championship pacesetters West Ham and Southampton earlier in the campaign.

He said: "It's about concentration and a bit of belief. We have beaten West Ham and Southampton and we have been to Blackpool and controlled most of the game, so that should give us belief to go and start games well.

"There have been a few games where we have been ahead and not held on so there are a lot of things that can get better but as the boys get to know each other it can only get better.

"We have dropped points where we shouldn't have and hopefully that is just the team gelling together. Ninth is not a bad position to be in and hopefully we can get better and win games."

But the former Celtic goalkeeper knows the Welsh club will face a stern test at Pride Park, with Derby having only lost one league game at home so far this term.

"Over the past couple of years they have struggled but they are a massive club with a huge fan base," he said. "The manager has settled in, got his players in and they are on a high so it will be a difficult game."

Mackay, who has striker Kenny Miller available after injury and defender Anthony Gerrard back from suspension, also praised Rams manager Nigel Clough, who was recently rewarded for their good start to the season with a new contract.

He said: "Nigel is a good guy, he has always been courteous with me. They are not one of the clubs that anybody tipped to be up there, a bit like Crystal Palace.

"I know Nigel and he has brought a group together, he has been there a few seasons and I think all the players there are his and they have had some good results and they look a good team so it will be a tough game in a full stadium with a good pitch."

Mackay also revealed he is still exploring options in the loan market, and that he had turned down an offer from Doncaster for striker Jon Parkin to return to the Keepmoat Stadium on loan.

"I am talking to a couple of clubs [about loans] but whether we can get something done is another matter. It's not been a particularly busy loan window for anybody but we are talking to a couple of clubs."

Regarding the offer for Parkin, he added: "I'm talking to a couple of clubs at the moment – whether they come off or not is another matter."

Tonight's other Championship fixture sees Leeds play host to Blackpool at Elland Road.