Russell Slade: Cardiff City play-off spot would be my "biggest achievement"

By Mark PoyserBBC Wales football reporter
Russell Slade
Russell Slade's Bluebirds are currently on a run of just two defeats in their last 11 games

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade says qualifying for a Championship play-off spot this season would be "bigger than anything" he has achieved in his career after passing 750 games in management.

Slade's side are one point off the top six in seventh with nine games to play.

The 55-year-old has previously taken Grimsby, Yeovil and Leyton Orient to play-off finals in lower divisions, without going on to win promotion.

"Of course it would be bigger than those," he told BBC Wales Sport.

"Because you have the opportunity then of playing for the biggest prize in football, Premier League football.

"I know this, I'd be confident of getting them to the final as I've done that three times.

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"Maybe Ken Choo [Cardiff chief executive] will have to manage the final because I have lost all three finals!"

Slade started his managerial career as caretaker boss at Notts County in 1994 and reached the landmark of 750 games with last Saturday's win over Ipswich.

"It has been a long journey and it's never a straight road, there are always bends in the road that you have to navigate and it's been tough.

"The job has become harder. There is more scrutiny, there is less time to turn things around and be successful.

"I've always wanted to get to that 1,000 mark. I think there's about 23 or 24 (managers) in that club, but those next 250 games seem a long time off but we'll take each one as they come and try and embrace them and look forward to them."

While he admits taking Cardiff to a top-six finish this season would top any achievement in his career so far, he still considers his previous play-off campaigns to be the highlights of his career so far.

"Getting to Wembley with a couple of the clubs that haven't had much budget at all really, in Yeovil and Grimsby Town, initially were big achievements just to be in the final really.

"And certainly the semi-final against where I was born Nottingham Forest for Yeovil was a big memory because we were 2-0 down.

"On that day they were selling flags 'Forest at Wembley' and they had all the tickets.

"My Chairman at Yeovil had to take the tickets back in the boot of his car.

"That was a big memory for me. We were 2-0 down and won the game 5-4 after extra time so that was a special game."

On Saturday Cardiff head to Reading looking to maintain their momentum.

Goalkeeper David Marshall is doubtful because of a virus and is not expected to train on Friday, but defender Fabio and midfielder Peter Whittingham have trained after recovering from knocks.

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