Cardiff V Sunderland at Cardiff City Stadium : Match Preview

27 December 2013 06:01
Cardiff V Sunderland - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Kerslake and McBride in charge

David Kerslake and Joe McBride will take charge of Cardiff for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland after Malky Mackay was relieved of his duties.

Kerslake has served as Mackay's assistant manager at the Bluebirds, while McBride holds the role of first-team coach.

The decision was confirmed by the club in a statement which read: "David Kerslake and Joe McBride will be taking charge of the team for the match against Sunderland on Saturday December 28th at Cardiff City Stadium."

Kerslake recently stood in for Mackay at a heated press conference when the Scot's future was under intense scrutiny.

On Friday, Mackay left the club after two-and-a-half years in charge of the Bluebirds.

The 41-year-old's exit had been widely predicted after owner Vincent Tan last week sent him an email demanding he resign or be sacked.

That ultimatum was briefly lifted when chairman Mehmet Dalman stated Mackay would be in charge for the "foreseeable future", but the 3-0 Boxing Day defeat against Southampton proved to be the ex-Watford boss' last game at the helm.

A statement on the Cardiff website read: "The board of directors at Cardiff City Football Club have today relieved Malky Mackay of his duties.

"A new first-team manager will be appointed and announced in due course."

Mackay has often said he has felt sorry for the club's fans as Cardiff have found themselves in the headlines for the wrong reasons on several occasions.

But Tan laid the blame for that and his dismissal firmly at the now former manager's door.

"There has been a good deal of publicity generated by, and about, Mr Malky Mackay for the last few months," said Tan in a statement.

"Indeed, far too much dirty linen has been exposed to the public gaze but, I stress, not by me.

"Indeed, I have deliberately not responded to this, hoping that the club can be judged on its football rather than personalised arguments about who said what to whom.

"I have, however, regretfully concluded that it is no longer fair to the club, its players, its fans and the public more generally for this uncomfortable state of affairs to continue.

"Cardiff City Football Club means far too much to us all for it to be distracted by this."

There are no new injury concerns for the clash.

Gary Medel missed the defeat to Southampton due to flu but could be fit enough to feature against the Black Cats, while Andreas Cornelius and Declan John could start after coming off the bench on Boxing Day.

But Craig Bellamy will miss out again due to his ongoing knee injury.

Sunderland will again be without Wes Brown, while it remains to be seen whether or not his fellow defender John O'Shea is able to feature.

The pair missed the 1-0 Boxing Day win at Everton, with Brown starting a three-match suspension and O'Shea having been nursing a shoulder problem.

Definitely still ruled out through injury are goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) and yet another defender, Carlos Cuellar (hip).

Boss Gus Poyet has urged his side to build on their superb win on Merseyside.

"The whole squad has to pull together - two games in three days is tough," he said following the win at Goodison Park," the boss said.

"We have quality players to call upon as [the likes of] Jozy Altidore and Adam Johnson were on the bench [at Everton].

"People keep forgetting we are unbeaten in four games - we're playing well. It's up to us to keep that belief going.

"Cardiff will be difficult. They are fighting for their lives but we need to make sure we're ready and perform to the best of our ability.

"We need to make it difficult for them on Saturday."

Source: PA