Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy plans to use the momentum gained from their 1-0 South Wales derby victory over Swansea to propel them into the play-off picture.
The Bluebirds now sit four points outside the top six after Aden Flint’s early header clinched derby delight for McCarthy’s men.
The side from the Welsh capital faced the prospect of a relegation battle when the experienced manager took over from Neil Harris, but they are now looking up after an important battling triumph over their fiercest rivals.
“I’m delighted,” said the Cardiff manager. “I’m going to put a coat hanger upside down in my mouth to keep the smile on my face. I’m delighted for the players who put a real shift in. It was a stoic performance.
“We knew how Swansea were going to play. The pride and bragging rights were at stake and I can see why the lads celebrated the way they did because apparently they did that at our place earlier in the season, so good for them.
“It was important not to be beaten and we have two weeks now to enjoy a good win against one of the best teams in the league. It’s an important win for our momentum and it’s brilliant for the fans and everyone at the club.
“When Swansea won at our place, they celebrated as if they had won the league so you might say that was retribution.
“I think the players wanted to prove a point and why not? They earned the right as they won with a performance that was full of determination and resilience.
“This gives us back our momentum and we deserve it because the boys have worked their socks off.
“And I’m really pleased for Aden. I’ve always really rated him as a centre-back and I was surprised to hear he had gone out of our club on loan. He’s been fantastic for me.”
Swansea’s automatic promotion hopes were dealt another blow with their second defeat in a week. But head coach Steve Cooper believes his side were the better team.
“We conceded a really soft goal from a long throw which we knew was coming,” he said. “It was a cruel game because we did everything but score. We were by far the superior team.
“It was a difficult day and it’s a difficult one to take because of the importance of the game. We’ve got to stick together, and we are still in a positive league position. Everybody has had a tough schedule, so we are not looking for sympathy or excuses.
“We’ve got nine games to go so third is a good position to be in. It hurts today but we’ve got to get over it and look forward. There were a lot of blocks and a lot of chances. We played some brilliant football which will be overlooked today because of the result.
“We have got to keep going and will never give up. We will fight to the end. I don’t think many would have put us in this position at the start of the season and we will be back stronger.”
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