Mackay enjoys the perfect City welcome
David Cuffley Watford boss Malky Mackay admitted Carrow Road on a Friday night was the perfect place for his young side to begin their Championship season - with the media spotlight mostly on the home side.
Watford boss Malky Mackay admitted Carrow Road on a Friday night was the perfect place for his young side to begin their Championship season - with the media spotlight mostly on the home side.
The popular ex-City centre-half and Nationwide League title-winner was delighted with his reception from home fans - and even more so with the Hornets' 3-2 win on his former home ground.
He said: “They're a very young bunch and we're a very small squad and to come up and show the belief and character we did tonight - and the mentality - that's one of the things I'm most proud of.
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“At times in the past when the opposition scored a goal, we kind of crumbled, but tonight when Norwich scored their first goal early on in the second half I was immensely proud of the way they stuck at it. They stuck to their beliefs and kept the ball so I'm very delighted with them.
“It's something I know is within them and it's getting it out of them on a consistent basis. With youngsters it's consistency you've got to look at. They've got to strive for that consistency and that's what puts you further up the table.”
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Mackay admitted the big pre-match focus on newly-promoted City may have worked in Watford's favour.
“As far as our group is concerned, if you're not going to get a home game the first game of the season, this is the game I would have picked to come to, for personal reasons with the affinity I've got with this city and the football club,” he said.
“To come up here the first Friday night, the curtain-raiser of the season, live on TV, 25,000 people and a beautiful pitch, you'd be mad not to want that.
“And after six weeks' worth of pent-up work, you want to start to the season on a high, and what better place to do it than up here? As far as we're concerned, we could go out with that belief and let the media intensity be elsewhere, which was fine.”
Even after the defeat, City fans applauded Mackay off the pitch.
He said: “That's the type of people they are. They're fantastic for the people they think are their own. I have a great affinity with the people of this football club and this county. I lived here for nigh on 6� years, my son was born in the Norfolk and Norwich and we had some good times and were promoted, so it's always a club that's close to my heart.
“Michael Wynn Jones and Delia Smith, who own the club, have put an awful lot of time, sweat, passion and money into this football club and I'm delighted that Paul Lambert got them back into this division. I know Paul well and I think he's going to be good for this football club and I'm delighted the club is back in the Championship again.”