McDonald on... Cardiff City

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 25th September 2013

Number two Neil McDonald stands in for Big Sam as he faces the press following West Ham's last-gasp Capital One Cup win over Cardiff...

Mac: That game should have been all over by half time, shouldn't it?

It should have been and that's the most disappointing thing. We played some brilliant stuff in the first half, got the goals early and created chance after chance but we didn't finish them off. We perhaps felt that it was a little bit too easy and took our foot off the pedal. Cardiff scored a great goal just before half time that put us on the backfoot. If we had scored the chances that we created in the first half then it would have definitely been over by half time.

At 2-2 though, it looked more likely that they would win?

Yeah. When you're on the backfoot after conceding just before half time it changes everything, doesn't it? Everyone wants a pat on the back but we gave them a little bit of a talking to, saying it's not too easy and they're going to come back into the game. To be fair, Cardiff got the equaliser and put the pressure back on us but we stuck together, worked hard for each other and waited for the chance to come along. We had a couple of good chances in the second half to finish them off but we'll take a 3-2 victory with a last minute goal. We're through to the next round which is very pleasing.

Has Ricardo given you something to think about now? He's put in a transfer request as he's desperate to play first team football but has he gone a little way towards doing that tonight?

Certainly he has yes, because he's scored the winner. He keeps on telling everyone that he creates chances for everybody and scores. That's what the manager wants, he wants people to create chances for others and he wants people to put the ball in the back of the net and he's done that, so that's a knock on the door for the manager, isn't it? He's available for Saturday against Hull and it gives the manager a nice little selection problem.

Is it just a case of him knuckling down and forgetting what's happened in the past?

Whether it's bad advice or... To be fair to the lad, he's a genuine lad and he just wants to go and play somewhere. He's got a game tonight, he's scored the winner and that's great. All we ask of anybody is to give 100 per cent - which he has done - and to do your best when you play.

And a special night for Sam? He wouldn't have been happy with anything but a victory?

That's right. It's always good to win but he's pleased that we're through, of course but slightly disappointed with certain things, aspects of our game. We should have finished the game off by half time and it would have been a lot easier for the players to express themselves even more. Unfortunately that didn't happen, Cardiff got back into it but we kept together and created a chance towards the end to finish them off which was great.

And another great goal from Ravel to start with?

Yes, brilliant. He's got all the skill and he's in the team to try and create as well as score and he's been doing that all the way through pre-season and now in the season. He took his goal really well; he showed lots of composure and it was a great finish. That's what we need to do more often, to create more chances and be clinical by sticking the ball in the back of the net. He showed everybody how to do it.

You've got a couple of injuries, but would you say that Ravel is a first team starter now?

Well he's played a couple of games on the bounce now and impressed in both of those games, so of course he's given himself a chance to start against Hull.

Where does this competition lie in terms of your priorities? Obviously the fans would love to get back to Wembley after being there last year. Is it high on your list?

The Premier League is always highest on the list, that's our number one priority. We have to make sure we consolidate our fantastic first season back, but given the chance and given the squad that we have - with competition for places - if we can progress then we'll progress. Sam made eleven changes to the team that beat Cheltenham [in the last round] and he hasn't made so many changes this time. It is a priority, yes, to try and get to Wembley, to play in a Cup Final and to try and win something. That would be great, but the Premier League is the be all and end all.

Modibo Maiga's received a lot of stick so far this season but he played a good game tonight?

He played very well tonight. We ask him to hold the ball up and interlink and he did very well. He's won his fair share in the air which is great as it puts us on the front foot if he does that. His first half performance was very good and we're well pleased with that.

Has his confidence been dented this season?

Confidence-wise, centre forwards want to score goals and he's not scoring goals. He's had probably one chance every game so far this season. It just hasn't fallen for him, or he's been in the box and the ball just hasn't dropped to him. So he is getting in the right positions and hopefully he can get a couple of goals and that might make him flourish even more.

Thank you.

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