Mason Pushing For Cardiff City Starting XI
Cardiff City's squad for this season is looking very strong, with rumours of another striking option to come as well as the imminenet arrival of South Korean star Kim Bo Kyung to supplement the current matchday squad. That has obviously meant that all our top players cannot be included in the two starting line-ups so far and Mackay has so far resisted the opportunity to rotate.
Perhaps the most unfortunate player to be left of is youngster Joe Mason. The former Plymouth Argyle man made an outstanding impact in his debut Championship campaign last year becoming a highly influential player for City with his intelligence, skill and finishing.
Unfortunately for Mason, he does not fit exactly into Mackay's system. He is ideally suited to play just behind a main stiker to link play and find space, however, with City currently favouring a lone striker in Heidar Helguson - Mason would not offer the same strength and aerial ability of the Icelandic International.
Mason can feature wide on either flank, given license to roam, or as part of the midfield three - but pushed forward. All require a change to the preferred 4-5-1 system with Cowie tucked-in, but Mason has impressed in each of those roles previously.
Coming on as a sub, Mason has managed to catch his manager's eye - MM told WalesOnline:
'Joe Mason took over from Jordon [Mutch] and he, too, did well. Joe has made an outstanding start to the season, making an impact in both of our matches after going on from the bench.'
There's no doubt Mason is a highly talented and versatile player with a big role to play this season. He already has a decent claim to be included on Saturday to face Bristol City, most likely in place of Don Cowie. However, if, as expected, Mackay opts to keep Cowie in the starting XI - Mason could replace the doubtful Jordon Mutch (foot injury) or may have to settle for impressing once more from the bench.
The double-edged sword or strength-in-depth !