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Football: Mackay admits Cardiff reprieve came as surprise

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay admitted on Monday that he had expected to be sacked over the weekend.

The Scot, who led the Bluebirds to promotion last season, appeared to be on his way out of the club after being told in an email from controversial owner Vincent Tan to resign or face the axe.

Tan's email, sent last Monday, included a list of grievances with the former Watford manager, and Mackay said he had been left "deeply upset" by its content.

He has refused to step down but it looked like the axe would fall in the wake of Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

However, a reprieve came from chairman Mehmet Dalman, who released a statement on Sunday saying the 42-year-old would be in charge for the "forseeable future" while he tries to repair the fractured relationship between manager and owner.

"I did feel I was going to lose my job on the weekend. The email deeply upset me," said Mackay, who admitted that his gesture to the travelling Cardiff fans on Merseyside effectively amounted to a farewell.

"I declined to resign and expected to be sacked over the weekend. To give the fans a clap was something I wanted to do for the support they had given me."

Now, though, it remains to be seen if Mackay can resolve his issues with the Malaysian Tan.

There has been ill-feeling between the two since Tan's removal of Iain Moody as his head of recruitment in October, and the owner was said to be furious at Mackay's hopes of adding to his squad in January, which resulted in last week's incendiary email.

Mackay admits he is not sure if and when he and Tan may meet after revealing two requests to come together for talks had already been rejected.

"I wanted that meeting to be today (Monday) but that was declined. If not today, then tomorrow (Tuesday) but that was also declined," he said.

"I don't know if we can talk. Mehmet has been trying to do this for three months, as have I. There are certain areas that have to be addressed that were in the email. I will find out when I go to the meeting.

"At that point I will take stock of where I am."

Mackay also had praise for Dalman, who he considers a close ally.

"Mehmet is a good man and a sensible man. But he's not the man who makes the decisions. Ultimately he will not make the decision. That still has to be addressed.

"I'm proud to be the manager here and I think I should be the manager here. I will keep doing what I'm doing and if someone wants to do something different that's up to them," he added.

Cardiff are due to entertain Southampton in the Premier League on Thursday, before playing Sunderland, also at home, on Saturday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131223/football-mackay-admits-cardiff-reprieve-came-surprise