Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay is determined not to let off-field issues impact his side’s preparation for the south Wales derby on Sunday.
Swansea City visit Cardiff for the Premier League’s first all-Welsh clash, but the hosts have had to deal with plenty of speculation in the build-up.
Following the departure of head of recruitment Iain Moody, and subsequent hiring of replacement Alisher Apsalyamov, there have also been reports suggesting player recruitment had taken place without Mackay’s knowledge.
However, Mackay is keen to ensure the only focus at the club is on beating Swansea and recording a third Premier League win of the season.
“Nothing surprises me; it’s just something the chief executive can get on with and deal with. My focus is on my team,” Mackay explained in relation to the off-field speculation.
“We have waited 51 years to get to this position and be in the Premier League. I won’t let anything else get in the way of that.
“There is a lot of stuff going on around about it, but my job is to manage the team, be proud of my players and prepare them in the best way possible, so myself and the staff and players are focused on the routine of the week.”
Cardiff clinched promotion to the Premier League for the first time by winning the Championship last season.
Mackay believes the fans’ wait for top-flight football will make for a unique atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium when Swansea visit.
“It’s very special for everyone in south Wales – and ourselves and Swansea – so it has absolutely got a little extra bite to it and that’s something that helps people,” he continued.
“I know the passion of our fans and what the atmosphere in our stadium is like but I don’t think it is going to touch the sides of what we will feel Sunday. It will be an incredible atmosphere when the players walk out.
“I think it is something all our fans have looked forward to since we were promoted and it does hold that extra special edge.”