Kevin McNaughton makes point with rare goal for Bolton Wanderers
Five years, seven months ago, the on-loan Scottish full-back scored for Cardiff City against Barnsley with what he freely admits was “a cross” – and only the second strike of a career in English football spanning some 300 games.
Little wonder then, that after putting Wanderers level against Charlton Athletic, McNaughton celebrated like a man who hadn’t practised his routine.
“I surprised myself,” the defender said. “I was looking round and thinking ‘what do I do now?’ “I thought about a cartwheel but decided against it – I might pull a hamstring or something – so I just kind of ran towards the corner not knowing what I was doing.”
News of McNaughton’s wonder strike travelled quickly and might have caused ripples back in South Wales, where his team-mates at Cardiff are in desperate need of a pick-me-up considering the ridiculous situation brewing between manager Malky Mackay and Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan.
“A week ago Mark Hudson (Cardiff defender) mentioned to Joe Mason he was going to put him on (a bet) for first scorer,” he said. “I said ‘what’s the story, why not me? And he said there was more chance of the moon hitting the earth than you scoring.'’ “As soon as I got back into the dressing room I texted him back and said: ‘the moon has just crashed into the earth, would you believe it?’”
McNaughton’s biggest regret is that his rare strike did not contribute to a winning performance.
“I thought we had enough chances to win the game. We don't seem to take our chances when we are on top of teams, which leaves us susceptible at the back.
“Andy Lonergan had to make a good save towards the end to stop us from getting beaten. It's been like that the last three or four weeks.
“We are not killing teams off.”
Dougie Freedman revealed after the game that both McNaughton and Neil Danns will be returning to their parent clubs after the Boxing Day clash with Barnsley.
Cardiff’s problems have been difficult to watch for the Welsh club’s longest-serving player and McNaughton admits he does not know whether the situation between Mackay and his owner Tan will prevent him returning to Wanderers next month.
“The gaffer (Freedman) said just go back and speak to them, find out what is going on and we will take it from there,” he said. “I'd be happy enough to come back. I have really enjoyed it. I have enjoyed getting back playing again.”
“I was going to speak to (Malky) over this week and a half but I think he has enough on his plate at the moment. It's a tough situation and he does probably not need me phoning him at this time asking what is going on.
“But the whole thing is not nice for the (Cardiff) supporters. They have gone through a lot in terms of the club changing the colours, changing the badge. This is not an ideal situation.
“It's their club; players come in and out, chairmen come in and out, managers come in and out. But they are there through it all. It’s them I feel sorry for the most. But I can't say too much because I don't want to find myself getting the sack!”