Cardiff City 1 West Brom 0 match report: Whittingham winner eases pressure on Mackay
Peter Whittingham's second half header gave the Bluebirds their first win in six to stop alarming run
Cardiff City Stadium
Sunday 15 December 2013
When referee Howard Webb blew the final whistle you could sense the relief around the Cardiff City Stadium, as Malky Mackay’s men gained a much-needed win in the battle of under-pressure managers.
Peter Whittingham rose highest from Craig Noone’s 65th-minute cross to beat Boaz Myhill with a rare header and hand the Bluebirds a first win in six Premier League games to move into 14th position.
It was the solitary goal on a tense afternoon in the Welsh capital as Steve Clarke’s West Bromwich Albion, with just one success in their last ten matches, now move closer to the relegation zone, two places and points behind Cardiff.
Mackay said: “The pressure was piling up on Arsène Wenger in week one against Aston Villa and that looks laughable now. The pressure was piling up on Alan Pardew four weeks ago. They are in the top six now. It’s the way it is. It’s why you don’t go too high or too low about it.
“But I thought we started really well and put West Brom on the back foot right way. It gave us that momentum. I knew at half-time we had to be patient and eventually it would come.
“I’m delighted for the players. It’s an important win for us against a team who are around us in the League.”
It could have been a different story without Gary Medel’s clearance off the line following Gareth McAuley’s close-range effort, or David Marshall’s superb save to deny Shane Long.
But Cardiff claimed the points when winger Noone, making his first League start of the season, attacked full-back Liam Ridgewell and delivered a pin-point cross where Whittingham struck.
Clarke added: “It was an even game and I didn’t think there was much in it. The first goal was going to be crucial.
“Unfortunately for us it went to Cardiff in a moment where either side was going to score. It looked like it would head towards a nil-nil.
“The reaction was good. We created some chances, as we normally do. At the moment, things aren’t quite going for us. I don’t think it’s a lack of confidence.
“We have to work harder and hope you get a lucky break or that somebody does something fantastic. One individual moment can change the run of games. There is no magic formula or wand.
“It’s difficult for the players. All we can do is keep trying as hard as we can to break the run as quickly as possible starting next week against Hull.”
Cardiff (4-4-2): Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, Taylor; Noone, Medel (Gunnarsson, 86), Mutch, Whittingham; Campbell (Maynard, 82), Odemwingie (Kim, 90).
West Bromwich (4-2-3-1): Myhill; Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell; Yacob (Sinclair, 73), Mulumbu; Amalfitano (Berahino, 73), Sessègnon, Brunt; Long (Vydra, 87).
Referee: Howard Webb.
Man of the match: Marshall (Cardiff)
Match rating: 6/10
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