Mick McCarthy: Cardiff City have extra South Wales derby incentive

Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ralls was sent off in the last South Wales derby
Cardiff City midfielder Joe Ralls was sent off in the last South Wales derby for a tackle on Korey Smith

Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy insists his side will not lack heart as they look to avoid history in this weekend's South Wales derby.

Previous Bluebirds managers have been criticised for recent performances against rivals Swansea City, who have not lost in the last four meetings.

A Swansea win in Saturday's Liberty Stadium clash would see them become the first side to complete a league double.

"It gives an extra incentive," said McCarthy.

The 62-year-old has not played down the significance of the fixture, despite experiencing the likes of the Old Firm derby and the Black Country derby as a player and manager.

"Everybody's derby is the big derby, wherever you are, wherever you live," he said. "But his is the big game for us.

"I used to love them as a player and I love them as a manager.

"It's somewhat different without the fans but the result still matters, the performance still matters and for the fans, despite not being in the stadium, it's their important match and I respect that.

"This is different because their pride is at stake.

I hope no one has ever said to me my team has lacked heart, they certainly won't be wanting on Saturday."

In December's reverse fixture, a 2-0 Swansea victory ensured the Bluebirds' four-game winning run in the Championship come to a halt, the first defeat of seven in eight games that cost Neil Harris his job.

Cardiff have lost only once since then - a 2-1 defeat by Watford - with McCarthy earning a longer-term contract.

"We don't want to be the first in the history books," he said. "I can't do anything about historical results, we are playing this one.

"They can't add any extra spice for me. If we win, we win, if we lose it I won't feel any worse because it's twice; I can't tell you how sick I felt after Watford. I was in bits and I don't want to be in bits after Swansea."

Cardiff are currently six points shy of the play-off places, while Swansea are in third with a game in hand on second-placed Watford.

"If we can win, we are back on the coattails of the play-offs and that's where we want to be," McCarthy added.

"And in case of Swansea they will be looking at automatic promotion so it's an important game for both of us."

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