Cardiff’s Championship promotion odds haven’t budged from 5/1 despite the announcement that Malky Mackay will succeed Dave Jones as boss.
Mackay was widely considered to have done a commendable job at Watford in his first senior coaching role, guiding the Hornets to 14th last season despite predictions of a relegation battle, having to rely on youngsters and financial struggles.
The fact that he achieved all that while attempting to play attractive football forged him a reputation as one of the Football League’s most promising young managers.
However, at a time when Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren and Sam Allardyce are all working in the Championship, the Scot doesn’t stand out as a blockbuster choice and that is why the Bluebirds are way back as 11th favourites for the title at 16/1.
The departures of Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra and the numerous loan signings that they relied upon in 2010-11 ensures that this will be a transitional period for the south Wales club, who have yet to confirm Craig Bellamy’s anticipated return.
There will be punters willing to take a chance of their lengthier than usual promotion price of 5/1 though on the basis that they have finished seventh or higher for three years running, so are more likely to challenge than several sides rated above them.
Even if Mackay isn’t the appointment that Cardiff fans were dreaming of, they will recognise that they are in a better position for the new campaign than Watford, who had already lost Will Buckley and Danny Graham prior to their manager’s exit.
The Hornets are 14/1 to defy expectations again and earn a spot in the Premier League next term, with Mark Robins, Neal Ardley and, somewhat inevitably, Jones all spoken of as early candidates to replace Mackay in the Vicarage Road dugout.