Mackay hails 'main man' Ramsey

Last Updated: Fri, 29 Nov 2013 16:19

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay has asked Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey to take it easy on his side in Saturday's Premier League meeting.

Former Bluebird Ramsey returns to Cardiff City Stadium with the Gunners enjoying the best form of his career.

The 22-year-old has scored 13 goals for club and country so far this term, marking himself out as a dominant figure in an Arsenal midfield including players of the calibre of Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil and putting the London club four points clear at the top of the table

Mackay is not alone in being a keen admirer of Ramsey's talents, but made a request in jest that the playmaker give the club who started his career some respite.

Mackay said: "I hope he gets a great reception here and I am pretty sure he will.

"He is a fine young man, I met him a couple of weeks ago when the Welsh squad were here. He popped in and at that point I said to him to make sure that in a couple of weeks' time he goes easy with us.

"It's good to see a young British player grasping the nettle at Premier League level and actually being one of the main men at Arsenal.

"Sometimes maturity and experience comes at different parts of your career, but the biggest factor as far as he is concerned is the number of games he is getting on a consistent basis and he is beginning to show for club and country what a top young talent he is.

"We will deal with him as we deal with most teams and players, we have just got to concentrate on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition."

Mackay also outlined his respect for Arsene Wenger and the way the Frenchman remained calm amid talk of a crisis following their opening day defeat to Aston Villa, although the Scot will hope to wipe the smile from his face.

"I think that it was funny when you looked at it after the first week - after the Aston Villa game - people were calling for Arsene Wenger's head, saying there was a crisis at Arsenal," said Mackay.

"I think since that point he has just sat there with a big smile on his face, because I think he knows his squad and I think he knew what he was doing. He certainly did when he brought Mesut Ozil in.

"So I think going forward from there they have got a lot of quality players. He also has got players who have really stepped up to the plate. Look at Ramsey who has really come to the fore this season. It has probably surprised some people, even inside Arsenal, in terms of the way he has grasped the game. That's probably one of the bonuses for Arsenal.

"Overall a man that is experienced as him (Wenger) sits and smiles and keeps his own counsel when people want to get hysterical about the job he has done."

Mackay has been admirable in the way he has carried out his duties in recent weeks following the loss of his head of recruitment Iain Moody and the uncertainty over his own future given what is understood to be a frosty relationship with owner Vincent Tan.

Reports in Turkey have suggested Yilmaz Vural, a Turkish coach who has managed 22 clubs over 27 years, is a potential replacement for Mackay.

But the former Watford manager is unconcerned by the speculation.

"It does not concern me in the slightest, I have a job to do and I am concentrating on that," he said. "I look after my team, my responsibility is to my team and our supporters.

"My players have put in a huge amount of effort for Cardiff City over the last two and a half years. Our late equaliser against Manchester United again showed the fitness levels, character and never-say-die attitude we have.

"I am proud of them."

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