Keep calm and carry on

31 October 2013 08:14
Steve McPhail tells City players to keep their cool and not get phased by derby day.

Steve McPhail knows what it's like to lose your head in a South Wales derby match. In the 2008/9 season he was sent off twice at The Liberty Stadium.

Cardiff lost in the League Cup and then drew in the League but McPhail managed to get sent off for two bookable offences in each game.

He told The Echo

“In my first derby away I made a late, rash tackle during the second half.

“I had totally forgotten I had been booked earlier after a misjudged tackle which put me on the wire.

“In the second match the ball fell to me after what I thought was a good challenge and the referee gave a free-kick against us. I kicked the ball away.

“There is no clue in my mind to this day why I did that.

“I cannot tell anybody why that happened.

“That’s what a derby can do to you. Keeping your head is vital.”

This Sunday Cardiff and Swansea meet in the Premier League. The first time there has been a South Wales derby at this level. McPhail urges the players to keep a cool head in what will be a electrifying atmosphere at Cardiff City Stadium.

“Swansea will calm themselves down as they away team,” he said.

“They will be intent on staying calm and playing their football.

“This is a massive game and Malky Mackay must get it across to his players they have to stay calm.

“They have to be sure of every touch and stay in the match.

“The players will have this derby match rammed down their throats wherever they go this week.

“They will feel the pressure. It’s up to the manager to ensure they are composed when it comes to kick-off time.

“I was lucky enough to play in a few South Wales derbies but Sunday’s clash in the Premier League makes it even bigger and better.

“I really hope Cardiff can earn the win, but there is no favourite.

“It’s a derby and it could go either way. It is such a high-intensity match and both teams will look to stamp their authority on it

“Swansea will get the ball down and Cardiff players will be making tackles and getting the crowd fired up.

“Whichever team starts best, whoever is on top over the first half-hour will probably win.”

Source: Cardiff City Online


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