Mackay Has the Edge as He Looks to Add to Woe for Jones; the Championship Cardiff City V Sheffield Weds, Sunday, 3pm TERRY PHILLIPS Analyses the Different Methods and Management Styles of Malky Mackay and Dave Jones Ahead of the Former Bluebirds Boss' Return to Cardiff This Weekend

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), November 30, 2012 | Go to article overview

Mackay Has the Edge as He Looks to Add to Woe for Jones; the Championship Cardiff City V Sheffield Weds, Sunday, 3pm TERRY PHILLIPS Analyses the Different Methods and Management Styles of Malky Mackay and Dave Jones Ahead of the Former Bluebirds Boss' Return to Cardiff This Weekend


Byline: Malky Mackay and Dave Jones

Wthe club he left 18 months ago when he returns for the first time as manager of Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday? For the changes at Cardiff City since Jones' successor Malky Mackay took charge 17 months ago have been vast.

On the pitch the personnel has changed enormously, even if key players like Mark Hudson, Peter Whittingham and (for a second spell) Craig Bellamy remain.

Behind the scenes, Mackay has put in place a new ethos and philosophy which City have benefited from to sit astride the top of the Championship.

"If any player has an ego it must be left at the door when he comes in every morning," says Mackay.

Jones doesn't suffer fools gladly, any journalist will vouch for that.

But it's undeniable that in his time at Cardiff he oversaw a difficult dressing room full of big personalities and, one by the end of his tenure, some believed he had lost control of. Jlloyd Samuel and pre-match nights out anyone? I know from my dealings with the City camp that the training ground is a happier place these days.

The players are a closer-knit group than I've seen in many years covering the club and their fitness levels match anything in the past decade or so.

Jones, without doubt, is a good, solid and experienced manager who knows what is needed to mount a Championship challenge, even if he was never able to finish the job at City.

But his achievements should not be forgotten. He turned the team into consistent promotion contenders and won worldwide recognition for Wembley visits in FA Cup and Championship play-off finals.

Those three visits to Wembley are something City fans will never forget.

But he was also perceived by many as dour and arrogant and someone who found it difficult to acknowledge his own weaknesses.

Jones was always out on the training pitch, but it was Terry Burton who provided the key coaching element on a daily basis.

Burton's knowledge and input was crucial and perhaps his importance has been underlined this season.

Wednesday swept to promotion from League One last season with Jones and Burton very much in harness.

It was a scintillating ride into the Championship but the partnership was split up when Burton took the Arsenal Reserves job and Wednesday have struggled since.

Former Cardiff first-team coach Paul Wilkinson is now Jones' assistant but any chemistry off the field has struggled to achieve positive results on it.

Mackay, of course, inherited a small playing staff from Jones, confronting a huge challenge when he left Watford to walk into the club in the summer of 2011.

The Scot had been left with 10 first-team squad members... and five of those hadn't been playing regularly.

Of the 11 who started in Cardiff's horrific 3-0 home play-off defeat to Reading in Jones' final match, eight were no longer at the club when Mackay arrived.

The policy of recruiting high-profile loan players had ultimately failed.

Only two - Kevin McNaughton and Whittingham - started against both Reading at home on that disastrous day and again in Mackay's first game at West Ham the following August.

Jones brought in big-name signings like Robbie Fowler, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Bellamy, lifting the club's profile in the process.

Mackay is not averse to a big-name signing - Bellamy's return - but value for money is a principle of his work in the transfer market.

That was underlined when he moved to sign Richard Keogh from Coventry in the summer, the deal appearing complete until an auction ensued.

When the transfer fee and wages rose fast, Mackay backed off - and Keogh went to Derby.

Whereas Whittingham - who has signed three new deals since Mackay took charge - Mark Hudson and Bellamy are the leaders of the pack, the Scot has been quick to sign young emerging players with transfer value.

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Mackay Has the Edge as He Looks to Add to Woe for Jones; the Championship Cardiff City V Sheffield Weds, Sunday, 3pm TERRY PHILLIPS Analyses the Different Methods and Management Styles of Malky Mackay and Dave Jones Ahead of the Former Bluebirds Boss' Return to Cardiff This Weekend
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