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So'ton 15:00 Watford

Mackay hails plucky Bluebirds

Adkins left to rue missed opportunities

Last Updated: 29/09/11 7:39am

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Adkins and Mackay attempt to get their point across

Adkins and Mackay attempt to get their point across

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Malky Mackay was delighted to see his injury-ravaged Cardiff side climb back into the Championship's top six with a 2-1 victory over league leaders Southampton on Wednesday.

Kenny Miller netted twice for the Bluebirds as they stretched their unbeaten run to eight matches.

Mackay found himself without seven senior stars in the build-up to the game, including forwards Craig Conway, Robert Earnshaw and Rudy Gestede.

He was, however, able to guide his troops to a welcome win, with Steve De Ridder's late consolation for the Saints failing to spoil his night.

Mackay said: "We were looking to try and make sure we even had a bench tonight. The options were probably not what we'd have hoped for, but, in terms of positions, it was what we had left fit in the building.

"It was a test for us but we had to be brave and believe in the players and tactics we had to beat Southampton.

"There is a togetherness in the squad and that has grown as the weeks have gone along, and everyone wants to do well for each other. There are no fractures in our team and that is paying off."

Mackay was also quick to hail the efforts of Miller afterwards, with the Scotland international proving yet again that he is among the most consistent goal-getters in the business.

He added: "I'm delighted for Kenny. He has been a proven goalscorer throughout his career and his hard work has finally paid off with goals.

"The first goal was a really good counter-attack as David (Marshall) kicks it early to Kenny and he's been ever so brave because the goalkeeper can easily smash him in that situation.

"Then he took his second goal incredibly well. It was a lovely finish. But he also put in a lot of work off the ball and channel runs that he deserved those two goals."

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins saw his table-topping team lose for only the second time in the league this season and admits the Saints paid the price for their wastefulness in front of goal.

He said: "I counted that we had six real good chances in the latter part of the game. Rickie Lambert had two headers which you would put your mortgage on him to score.

"Richard Chaplow has shaved the post and De Ridder also missed before he scored. But we're still top and that is a positive for us."

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