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Mackay rules out Norwich return

Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay has ruled himself out of the running to become the next manager of Norwich City.

• Interest mounting in Norwich job
• Blog: Bittersweet misery over Lambert

The Canaries are searching for a new manager following Paul Lambert's messy departure for Aston Villa last week and former Norwich centre-back Mackay had been linked with a return to Carrow Road.

However, the 40-year-old has pledged his future to Cardiff, saying: "I have started a long-term project and want to stay and finish it. I am fully committed to our football club and the challenges ahead."

Mackay spent six years as a player at Norwich, was a member of the team that won the Championship title and promotion in 2003-04 and has emotional ties with the East Anglian club.

"I am very flattered to be linked with the vacancy at Norwich City," Mackay told WalesOnline. "They are and always will be a club close to my heart.

"I have a lot of good friends within the club and great respect for Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones. David McNally, the club's chief executive, has handled this situation well and is guiding Norwich in the right direction.

"However, I have started a project at Cardiff City. We have put in a structure for long-term success at this football club and we are still working on that."

Norwich's chief executive McNally has said that his club would search far and wide for manager with "top-league" experience, which would have made former Watford boss Mackay an unlikely choice.

"The search is certainly a European search," McNally told the Eastern Daily Press. "We are looking for somebody who has got top-league experience. I don't think the candidate necessarily has to have Premier League experience - but they have to have top-league experience.

"If, for example, you have managed in Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga, they are some of the toughest leagues in the world too. So why on earth if there is a candidate in one of those leagues who was available and we felt was right for us should we say no to them just because they haven't managed in the Premier League?"

McNally refused to be drawn on who is in the frame, but was keen to point out that he is after a manager of the highest calibre.

He added: "We have names in mind, of course, and we are now thinking deeply, and long into the night, about the characteristics, the specifications if you like, and we are looking at the qualities that the new manager must have.

"They include hunger, commitment, desire, and then the usual things that we look for when we appointed Paul - knowledge, skill, relevant experience and then the glue which holds it all together, which is attitude."

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