Mick McCarthy admitted his future at Cardiff is now out of his hands after a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat at home to Reading.
McCarthy’s decision to release Junior Hoilett this summer came back to haunt him as the Canada international scored his first Royals goal on his Cardiff return.
Cardiff have now lost their last five successive league matches and seven of their last eight in all competitions.
They were booed off at the final whistle and McCarthy is clinging to his job.
Cardiff are now 20th in the Championship but Reading have risen to 10th after a backs-to-the-wall display earned them all three points.
“I’ve no idea how we didn’t get a result because it’s the best performance we’ve had in weeks,” McCarthy said. “It’s bitterly, bitterly disappointing.
“I can only control what I do on the pitch and what the team does.
“That decision (about my future) is not up to me. I think that performance shows I certainly haven’t lost the dressing room. It shows we can get a response.
“The fans were excellent. Their anger was at me and I’m cool with that. They deserved something out of that game as much as we did.”
Cardiff recalled Joe Ralls and Kieffer Moore and were far more threatening than in their 4-0 midweek hammering by West Brom. They had 27 shots but still could not score.
Hoilett showed them how it should be done when he picked the ball up on the edge of the box and made use of an inch of space to find the bottom corner.
He refused to celebrate after scoring with Reading’s first shot of the afternoon and the Royals had only two efforts on goal all day.
Cardiff bombarded the Reading goal in the second half but just could not break through despite the best efforts of winger Ryan Giles.
Reading boss Veljko Paunovic said: “Junior is a player we have always liked. We would have brought him to the club earlier but for our financial situation.
“It was a very difficult game, but it’s a pleasant feeling to come through.
“I am so proud of our performance, our team spirit, and the grit we showed.
“It was another clean sheet and although it wasn’t pretty, I think we should be very pleased with the progress this team is making.”
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