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Mackay: Nerves not an issue for us

6 March 2013

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay dismissed suggestions his side are showing signs of nerves after the npower Championship leaders dropped two more points in their 1-1 draw against Derby.

Cardiff's lead at the top of the table, which was once in double digits, has been eroded away by the chasing pack, and they looked set to suffer a third defeat in four games when Conor Sammon gave Derby the lead with 15 minutes remaining.

But substitute Craig Noone headed home an equaliser from Andrew Taylor's cross to ensure a share of the spoils and keep their advantage over their pursuers at five points. Cardiff have been made to pay for late-season jitters during previous promotion pushes.

And the Bluebirds recent dip in form has not been helped by the furore over owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan's reported plans for a further re-branding of the club - including a re-naming and alterations to the club crest, both of which have been denied.

But Mackay does not believe his team are feeling the pressure. He said: "You have to play the team in front of you. It's not always going to go the way you want it to be, everyone is fighting for everything in this league.

"If there were nerves surely we don't come back at the end, score the goal and nearly get the winner. It's about trying to be the most consistent team in the league. We came back and got another point and it's one game less to play."

A point was an excellent result for the injury-hit Rams, who only had five players on the bench, but first-team coach Andy Garner admitted County were disappointed, particularly after seeing a Chris Martin strike ruled out for offside and being denied a penalty appeal for handball against Ben Turner.

Garner said: "With the disallowed goal I had a word with the assistant referee at half-time, which is not the best of times, but I asked him if he was 100 per cent happy with his decision and he said he was. I have seen the replay and Chris is half a yard onside."

But Mackay claimed the offside had been given against Sammon.

He said: "I spoke to the fourth official about it and watched it three or four times and he's spot on. Conor Sammon is right in line with David Marshall. He's standing a yard offside when the ball gets fired into the net. It's not against Chris Martin."

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