Malky Mackay, the Cardiff manager, will finally get his meeting with the club’s owner, Vincent Tan, tomorrow and will learn his fate.
Mackay saw his side concede three times yesterday in the opening 27 minutes of the drubbing to Southampton, who notched their first Premier League win in seven games. The loss which leaves Cardiff in 16th, just one point above the relegation zone.
Last week, Mackay received an email from the owner which ordered him to “resign or face the axe”. Mackay will now meet Tan and the club’s chairman, Mehmet Dalman, on the day the Bluebirds take on rock-bottom Sunderland at home.
Before yesterday’s kick-off, around 500 Cardiff fans protested against Tan’s running of the club. The angry supporters did not get to see the Malaysian billionaire, who was already inside the ground.
But Mackay did his own cause no good as he watched his men produce a defensive horror show in the first period. After Peter Whittingham missed a glorious chance, the Saints clinically surged ahead courtesy of a Jay Rodriguez double and a close-range finish by Rickie Lambert.
“I have belief in my ability to be the manager here and that group of players are working hard for me,” Mackay said. “The staff are working hard and everyone is pulling in that direction right now, so as far as I am concerned that group are competing well in this league.
“They are not in the bottom three at the moment and they are where they are supposed to be. Some people might have us languishing in the bottom three but they have not done that all season.
“I am standing strong to make sure if it is anything to do with me and my staff that we will make sure we stay in this league.
“I’m certainly not going to make any excuses at all. I thought we gave away three really poor goals and we can’t do that against a good team. It was unlike us in terms of the quality of the goals we lost. ”
Adam Lallana, who was married on Christmas Eve, was central to Southampton’s excellent display.
The England international has been linked with a January move to Manchester United, but Southampton’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, believes his captain will remain at St Mary’s.
Pochettino said: “We can keep Adam. I think Adam and other players are going to stay with us. There is no pressure to sell them. Adam said he is happy at Southampton and Southampton have no plans to sell him.”