Malky Mackay believes West Ham are in a dangerous position going into the second leg of their npower Championship play-off semi-final clash with his Cardiff side, despite leading 2-0 on aggregate.
Two first-half goals from midfielder Jack Collison handed the Hammers a convincing victory at the Cardiff City Stadium last night, giving the London outfit a comfortable cushion going into the return fixture at Upton Park next week.
However, Bluebirds boss Mackay has stated that the deficit is far from insurmountable.
And he went so far as to suggest that the Hammers may have put themselves in a difficult position.
“I think 2-0 is a dangerous score for the team that are 2-0 up,” he said.
“We’ve got to make sure we go there and give a good account of ourselves. We’ve got another 90 minutes and it’s 2-0 at half-time.
“That’s all it is – we’re 2-0 down at half-time. We’re 2-0 down but we’ve got 90 minutes to go and change this.
“We’ve got another game. It’s 11 v 11 again at their stadium and we’ve done well this season away from home.
“All my focus is on us trying to get to the play-off final and that’s not done yet.
“The scoreline obviously makes it more difficult at the moment but it’s something that’s certainly not unrescuable.
“We’ll be desperately trying to do it for our club and our fans. The team will be going there to make sure we give a really good account of ourselves and try to get to this final.”
Mackay thinks scoring first at Upton Park on Monday will be crucial if Cardiff are to stand a chance of progressing to the play-off final.
And he stressed that all minds will be fully focused on the job at hand.
“If we go there and manage to get that first goal it makes a big, big difference for us and it’s certainly going to be something we’ll be trying to do,” he said.
“We’ll be back in tomorrow morning. The recovery process starts tonight with the medical team and sports science team.
“We’ll be in tomorrow morning. We’ll have a chat and do a bit of light recovery and then prepare from there.”
West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald reacted to Mackay’s comments by insisting he would rather be standing in his own shoes right now.
“We’ll certainly take 2-0 after the first 90 minutes, that’s for sure,” he said.
“It’s always a dangerous lead, but you’d rather be 2-0 in front than 2-0 behind.”
In fact, McDonald was left to rue his side not having put the tie to bed well before the two teams square up once again in three days’ time.
Carlton Cole saw a low header brilliantly saved by David Marshall in the Cardiff goal, while Kevin Nolan failed to test the Bluebirds stopper with a point-blank header in the second period.
And all that left McDonald and the West Ham camp feeling frustrated.
“It could have (gone better) because we could have scored a couple more goals,” he said.
“Their keeper’s made a good save and Kevin Nolan’s missed a good chance and we’ve created a few more chances as well.”