Malky Mackay hails influence of former Cardiff midfielder Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal
Malky Mackay is hoping hometown boy Aaron Ramsey gets a great reception from the Cardiff City fans on Saturday.
Last Updated: 29/11/13 3:19pm
The Arsenal midfielder returns to his first club in the best form of his career, having scored 13 times for Arsenal and Wales this season and emerging as the dominant force in a midfield containing players of the calibre of Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil.
Ramsey's performances have been central in the Gunners' rise to the top of the Premier League, where they sit with a comfortable four-point lead.
Mackay is not alone in being a keen admirer of Ramsey's talents, but made a request in jest that the midfielder gives the club who started his career some respite.
"I hope he gets a great reception here and I am pretty sure he will," he said.
"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.
"He (Ramsey) 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."
Mackay also had substantial words of praise for Arsene Wenger, who is the longest-serving manager in English football but who also came under some criticism on the opening day of the season when the Gunners were beaten at home by Aston Villa.
The Cardiff boss has himself endured an uncertain time at Cardiff at various points of the season but enjoyed the way Wenger 'sat and smiled' with an absolute confidence in his own abilities.
"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.
"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."