Cardiff City Squad Review (11/12): Kev McNaughton
A brief look at the individual contributions of all the major Cardiff City players over the course of the 2011/12 season. The 'rating` as given is not purely based on performance but more the impact that player had compared to what we could realistically have expected at the start of the year and given their own standards and reputation.
2 - Kevin McNaughton
evin McNaughton is now a stalwart of Cardiff City and we all recognise you will get 100% every week, a willing runner and a very capable defender. Mackay opted to utilise him solely at right-back, in contrast to previous seasons where he has featured across the back four. That consistency was enabled partly because 'Super Kev` enjoyed one of his most injury free seasons to date. He has often struggled with hamstring and back complaints, but incoming physio Richard Collinges and a newly discovered yoga routine have helped McNaughton to maximise his playing time and remain injury free.
Defending solidly, and marauding down the right were features of McNaughton`s best form. However, due to a narrow and unbalanced midfield, McNaughton was tasked with a huge amount of work and contributing almost alone in both attack and defense down the City right. Whilst he certainly contributed throughout the season, it was a huge ask and he was unable to produce his best regularly.
Many cite a poor distribution as a weakness, and the Scotsman regularly showed his frustration with his final ball. However, he rarely had any high quality options and without a right winger ahead of him, his wastage of possession was somewhat inevitable at times. For me, McNaughton felt the pressure of trying to contribute too much and his defensive game also suffered. Few Championship clubs can call on any player to fulfil such a role as McNaughton did valiantly for the Bluebirds this season and while he didn`t set the world alight - his contribution was still well above average.
Season`s rating: 7/10