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iPro Stadium (ATT 20,911) 27th November 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: M Brown

Derby Derby County vs Cardiff City Cardiff

Derby 1

T Robinson (69)

ft

Cardiff 1

H Helguson (11)
C Noone (S/O 63)

Mackay hails Cardiff character

Last Updated: 28/11/12 8:02am

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Malky Mackay: Happy with his side's character in the draw at Derby

Malky Mackay: Happy with his side's character in the draw at Derby

Malky Mackay hailed Cardiff's character as his 10 men battled to a 1-1 draw at Derby.

Heidar Helguson's close-range header gave City an early lead at Pride Park, but the hosts equalised through Theo Robinson following Craig Noone's dismissal for two yellow cards in the space of three second-half minutes.

Derby arguably deserved to take all three points, but a Cardiff backline featuring two teenagers - Joe Ralls and Ben Nugent - held out to secure a share of the spoils.

That was enough to please Mackay, who oversaw a 2-1 victory at Barnsley on Saturday and is hoping to welcome back four senior players for the weekend visit of struggling Sheffield Wednesday.

"We've been up in Yorkshire and Derbyshire and picked up four points out of six with a real patched-up group," he said.

"I'm delighted to be bringing (Kevin) McNaughton, (Andrew) Taylor, (Ben) Turner and (Don) Cowie back in, hopefully for Sunday.

"We really ended up quite threadbare tonight, but I'm very proud of the group. We stay top and we stay top scorers in the division as well, which is important."

Although he had no complaints about the decision, Mackay rued the red card picked up by Noone, who was booked for two clumsy challenges in quick succession.

"I was really delighted up to 60 minutes and think we could have gone on and won the game by more," said the Cardiff boss.

"The sending-off then changes that and means you have to be dogged and resilient.

"We were playing a good team here, a team that have only lost once at home and have won their last three games (at Pride Park) and scored nine goals, so it was always going to be a tough game.

"But I thought up to that point (the red card) it was a calm, professional performance and it finished that way.

"I was delighted by the way we made sure we professionally saw the game out."

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

Match Reaction

Clough taking the positives

Clough taking the positives

Derby boss Nigel Clough felt there were many positives to take from their draw with leaders Cardiff.

Mackay hails Cardiff character

Mackay hails Cardiff character

Malky Mackay hailed Cardiff's character as his 10 men battled to a 1-1 draw at Derby.