LONDON (AFP) - Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay on Friday insisted that he has no intention of resigning from the English Premier League club following the exit of assistant Iain Moody.
MacKay's future at the Welsh capital side was called into question last week when Moody, who'd worked with him at Watford and was responsible for helping the manager recruit new players, left.
Cardiff also announced that Alisher Apsalyamov, a 23-year-old from Kazakhstan, reported to be a friend of the son of the club's Malaysian owner Vincent Tan, and with no known significant previous experience in football, had replaced Moody in an acting capacity.
This led to speculation that Mackay might quit.
However, the Scot, in his first public comments about Moody's exit during a news conference on Friday ahead of Saturday's match away to Chelsea, said: "As far as I am concerned, again for clarification, under no circumstances was I asked to resign and at no time have I thought of resigning from the football club."
He also defended Moody by saying: "Iain is an absolute class act as far as I am concerned. He has done a very impressive job for the football club.
"In one of the periods of success at the football club, which we have been in over the last two-and-a-half years, he has had a huge part to play in the restructuring of my squad.
"He helped bring in more than 20-odd players and he is someone who had a huge part to play in the current success, who will be missed by everyone who works for our football club.
"He leaves with my utmost gratitude and respect. I would say our loss will be someone's huge gain."
And he insisted Moody had not left because of excessive pre-season spending.
"One thing I would clarify, as I have read a few things over the past couple of weeks, is that we were absolutely under budget this summer. I want to clarify that. That is what I have to say about Iain."
Mackay, who refused to say if he's spoken to Apsalyamov, also emphasised his good working relationship with new Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman.
"Over the last week he has helped draw a line under some of the things that have happened and try and make things better going forward," he added.
"Any other questions in terms of where that's concerned, you can ask to discuss with the CEO (Simon Lim).
"I want to protect the players. I want to talk about football, we have a game against Chelsea. I am the manager and my job is to look after the football side of the club so, with respect, that's all I will be saying about that."
Tan took over Cardiff in 2010 and helped finance their promotion to the Premier League last season as the club returned to English football's top flight for the first time in more than 50 years.
But he also angered many Cardiff supporters by insisting the club change from their traditional blue kit to red, considered a "lucky" colour.
Cardiff are currently 14th in the Premier League, a point in front of south Wales rivals Swansea.