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Mackay: Strong words brought out best

16 September 2012

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay believes a few harsh words at half-time turned the game in their favour following the 2-1 npower Championship home win over Leeds.

Scotsman Mackay was unhappy with the speed of the Bluebirds' tempo in the opening period at the Cardiff City Stadium, yet a half-time dressing down for his players saw a much-improved performance and the reward of goals from Craig Bellamy and Peter Whittingham.

Mackay said: "Half-time changed the game. Leeds came and worked very hard, were compact and disciplined.

"They negated space in the wide areas and did their homework by watching our game against Wolves. We spoke at half-time, upped the tempo and attacked them in different areas in the second half. We had 19 chances at goal and Paddy Kenny made three or four magnificent saves. On another day we could have scored four or five. "

Rodolph Austin's free-kick for Leeds halved the deficit to set up a tense finish in the Welsh capital, but Cardiff hung on to jump into fifth place in the table.

Cardiff striker Bellamy, who had not played since August 21 after a calf injury, needed just four second-half minutes on his comeback to net his first goal since his free transfer move from Liverpool last month.

Bellamy arrowed a 20-yard free-kick into the top corner past Leeds goalkeeper Paddy Kenny in the 67th minute to break the deadlock.

Cardiff boss Mackay said: "It was a fantastic strike and Craig showed the quality of the player we have got when he came on. He's not ready for 90 minutes and that's why he was on the bench. He's only trained for four days since the tear. He was ready for what he played."

Leeds' hopes for victory were hampered by a third-minute injury to Ross McCormack. The former Bluebirds striker twisted his ankle following a challenge by Jordon Mutch and was carried off on a stretcher.

Leeds boss Warnock said: "I thought we deserved a point, but to lose Ross McCormack after three minutes was hard, he's our only Bellamy. Ross has twisted his ankle quite severely. I don't think there is any break, but we can't tell yet because of the swelling. I'd imagine he'll be out for a few weeks."

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