Cardiff City’s Ben Nugent had a weekend of mixed fortunes. On Friday he felt the high of penning a new deal which will keep him in South Wales until 2016 but 24 hours later the young defender was involved as the Bluebirds crashed out of the FA Cup at Blue Square Premier side Macclesfield Town.
The non-league side fighting back from a goal down to win 2-1 – a result that might have been prevented had the centre-back’s header not been well saved by Macc keeper Lance Cronin on the hour with Cardiff one goal to the good.
Despite Saturday’s cup setback Nugent can be proud of his progress.
An Apprentice only last term – his new contract is a reward for his development this season which has included five appearances for Malky Mackay’s first-team who currently top the Championship table.
The youngster helped resolve a defensive crisis earlier this term, stepping in for the injured Ben Turner at Middlesbrough and keeping his place for the Bluebirds next two games.
“He is a kid with a fantastic attitude which is a great base and starting point,” said Manager Malky Mackay
“He desperately wants to do well and learn. He worked very hard for six months when he came up to seniors. He had injury problems while he was a youth-team player so to come up and impress all the coaches and myself in such a short space of time shows the amount of work he has put in.
“We’ve rewarded him with longer term contract – he stood up to the test of going into first-team as a youngster and you don’t know if they will sink or swim or what is going to happen.
”Until they cross the line and play first professional game at that level you can’t be certain. He took that in his stride, captained the reserves and if he keeps working he is going to be a good player in the future. He has a lot of the right attributes to have a good career.”