Mixed feelings for Hughton

PA Sport
Chris Hughton

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Chris Hughton

Manager Chris Hughton was left feeling dissatisfied after his Birmingham side were held by Cardiff in Sunday's npower Championship clash.

City did move back into the top six thanks to a 1-1 draw, but were made to work hard for their point as Erik Huseklepp's opener was cancelled out by Mark Hudson. Marlon King also missed a penalty for the Blues, meaning they and Cardiff remain locked together in the league table.

"We were not at our best in the first half. We got an improvement in the second half up against a team which floods the midfield," Hughton said. "In 95 minutes their goal was the only chance they had."

He added: "We defended well as a team. The penalty miss was disappointing, but I thought we responded well afterwards and when Huseklepp scored I thought it was going to be the winning goal.

"But it was important that we remained solid and after Cardiff equalised we had to make sure we didn't lose the match. It gets us into the top six and it is now our responsibility to stay in that position."

The result represents a third straight draw for Cardiff who have been unable to get their own promotion charge fully on track ever since their Carling Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

"We came away to our play-off rivals who have lost once in 19 games at home and were tough to play against," manager Malky Mackay said. "They had four centre-backs in their team, but on the flip side I am disappointed because we played fantastically and showed real courage in dominating possession.

"If we had panicked and lumped the ball forward it would have played into their hands. I thought we probed well, pushed on well after our equaliser and we had Birmingham on the back foot."

The Welsh side remain outside of the top six, but Mackay is confident they can force their way into the shake-up heading into the business end of the season.

"We are out of the top six on goal difference, but with seven games to go we have a great chance to make the play-offs," he added. "We have had a little wobble over the last month but we have only lost once in the last six games. Now I want consistency from a team which is looking hard to beat."

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