McNaughton KO'd, Injured But Fights On Regardless
Cardiff City gained a crucial victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Watford on Saturday courtesy of a 4-2 win. Key to te three points was some neat finishing, and a spirited if somewhat disjointed rearguard action from the Bluebirds.
Kevin mcNaughton is a key member of the backline, and adds pace and astute reading of the game from the problematic centre-back position. He does not have the height or build to be consided a natural centre-half but adapts brilliantly and put in another determined performance alongside Mark Hudson, until he was switched to a left-back role when Lee Naylor was withdrawn.
Midway through the second half, McNaughton was floored after an aerial tangle with Will Buckley. He fell awkwardly and his crumpled body did not move for a full 10 seconds after landing prompting team-mates, referee and even the Watford players to immediately call for medical assistance.
Ever the fighter, Kev was up and running after some brief attantion and made a great interception within a minute of regaining consciousness! McNaughton was asked to battle on, and did so manfully despite taking further knocks and appearing to struggle with a dead leg which prevented his movement.
Since we had used all our subs (Bothroyd, Naylor and Whittingham all limped off), McNaughton was required to see out the remainder of the game in midfield with Chris Burke slotting in at right-back and Paul Quinn shifting sides to the left. He could barely move, but continued to provide a presence and intercepted to good effect and made it diffiuclt for Watford to get past.
Hopefully, McNaughton is able to recover fully prior to our next game, at home to Reading after the International break. With new signing Dekel Keinan added, and potentially another centre-half on the way - he looks set to return to his more customary full-back role. Amidst all the prima donnas in the game currently, McNaughton never complains - simply does his job quietly and always shows the determination, work-rate and excellent defensive work that surely make him first on Dave Jones' teamsheet each week.