Mackay thrilled with Bluebirds

Cardiff manager delighted as Reading are put to the sword

Malky Mackay: The Cardiff boss was thrilled with how the Bluebirds performed against Reading

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Cardiff boss Malky Mackay felt his side were "sublime" at times as they sealed a double over Reading, but Brian McDermott was left fuming at his team's display.

The Bluebirds stormed to a thumping 3-1 Championship victory to keep their top-two ambitions on track - a result which leaves the Welsh club just two points off the automatic promotion places.

Cardiff flew out of the blocks - taking a three-goal lead inside 36 minutes courtesy of Joe Mason, Aron Gunnarsson and Kenny Miller.

Former Cardiff midfielder Jobi McAnuff pulled a goal back for McDermott's Reading on the stroke of half-time, but it proved immaterial as the home side cruised through the second period to move into third spot.

"Some of the passing, movement and chances in the first half were sublime," said Mackay. "I'm delighted with the way we played especially on the back of a tough game on Saturday.

"In fact, I thought we grew as the game went on. We want to be as high up the league as we can be. But we'll concentrate and focus on ourselves.

"When you start looking at others then you can take your eye off the ball."

Republic of Ireland Under 21 international Mason opened the scoring with a superb solo effort in the 13th minute.

Mason collected Miller's pass and, after almost losing his footing on the greasy surface on the edge of the box, drilled a low right-footed shot past Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici into the bottom corner.

It was the first goal Reading had conceded in 408 minutes and the 100th league goal at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Hotly-disputed

Cardiff doubled their advantage with a hotly-disputed second when Gunnarsson headed Peter Whittingham's corner in from inches rather than yards. But Federici saw appeals for a foul on him as he stood on his goal-line waved away by referee Chris Foy.

Things were still to get worse for the Reading stopper as Whittingham's excellent defence-splitting pass found Miller who toe-poked home from 10 yards.

Cardiff midfielder Gunnarsson said: "We started well and scored three goals in the first half. It was comfortable, but we made one mistake and they were back in the game.

"We ground out the win in the second half and it's a good result for us with other teams losing. It's fantastic and we have to keep going. We need to keep believing in ourselves as it was a brilliant team performance."

Reading's consolation goal came when Jimmy Kebe galloped down the right and his cut-back found opposite wideman McAnuff, who fired past David Marshall and defender Mark Hudson on the line.

Frustrated Reading manager McDermott said: "We didn't perform and that is the disappointing thing for me.

"Give credit to Cardiff, who have beaten us twice this season. We have to move on quickly."