Russell Slade: Cardiff City reaching play-offs 'still realistic'

Russell Slade discusses tactics with assistant manager Scott Young
Russell Slade (right, with assistant coach Scott Young) took over as Cardiff City manager in October 2014 following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade still believes his team can make the Championship play-offs in spite of their 1-1 draw with 10-man Charlton.

The result leaves Bluebirds 11th, seven points behind their next opponents Watford who occupy the last of the play-off places.

Slade believes Cardiff can bridge the gap, provided they improve.

"It's still realistic there's no doubt about that, but we've got to learn quickly," he said.

"We've got to continue to improve and if we do that we do have talent.

"We do have players that can win football matches and we do have players that have got out of the Championship so there is a certain amount of ingredients there.

"But we've got to be better if we're going to get where we want to be."

Watford are Cardiff City's next opponents in the Welsh capital on Sunday, 28 December.

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade:
"We have to learn from that game quickly because physically and mentally we weren't tough enough,"

Slade's team beat the Hornets 1-0 at Vicarage Road on 29 November - their only away win in the League this season and the last time they won.

He expects to have to make "a few changes" with a 48-hour turnaround between the matches, but the former Leyton Orient boss' wants an improvement.

"We have to learn from that game quickly because physically and mentally we weren't tough enough," he added.

"We'd been playing well in the first half, we had to stick to our game plan away from home.

"We got ahead, they went down to 10 men and after that it's a forgettable game for us.

"And it could have been worse for us, no doubt about that."

Cardiff took an early lead at The Valley and were playing against 10 men from the 33rd minute when Callum Harriott was dismissed for a foul on Peter Whittingham.

The Bluebirds held the lead until the 88th minute when Johann Berg Gudmundsson's thunderous left foot shot finally beat David Marshall.

And Cardiff had to a let off in the final minute when Igor Vetokele fired over when he was one-on-one with the Scotland international goalkeeper.