Sheff Wed game a ‘cup final’ – Slade

25 Apr

Cardiff players celebrate Peter Whittingham's injury time penalty


Peter Whittingham’s injury time penalty secured victory over 10-man Bolton

Russell Slade says Cardiff City face a “cup final” against play-off rivals Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday.

The Bluebirds snatched a late 2-1 win against Bolton to close the gap on sixth-placed Wednesday to four points.

Cardiff must win at Hillsborough on the penultimate weekend of the season to preserve their play-off hopes.

“They [Cardiff’s chances] are still slim but probably not as slim as they were before a ball was kicked in the Championship today,” said Slade.

“The gap is now four points, and we have a cup final next weekend. We need to dust ourselves down and be ready for it.

“I’ve always said that if we can take it to the last game of the season, at home, then we would take that.”

If Cardiff beat Wednesday, they will trail the Yorkshire club by just one point when the Championship season enters its final weekend.

Kenneth Zohore scores to bring Cardiff City level against Bolton<!–

Kenneth Zohore scored his second goal of the season to bring Cardiff level against Bolton

Slade’s side will be at home against Birmingham City, while Wednesday visit Wolves on Saturday, 7 May.

Cardiff midfielder Joe Ralls could be a doubt to face Wednesday after he was taken off at half-time against Bolton because of a thigh strain.

Dutch forward Lex Immers missed the game through illness as he recovers from a hamstring strain, while defenders Bruno Ecuele Manga (malaria) and Fabio (groin) also remain doubts having been absent recently.

“We have to prepare for the Sheffield Wednesday game as normal, but we will do some work on the opposition and see what bodies we have available,” said Slade.

“Clearly, we’ve got to go there and win. It’s irrelevant really unless we go and get the three points at Sheffield.

“The odds are stacked against us. If you’re betting man on the street, you probably fancy Sheffield are red-hot favourites to get that slot.

“I’d be disappointed if I was a Sheffield Wednesday fan to see the last-minute goal go in. It still means it’s game on.”

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