"There can be no room for sentiment as we need the points desperately - nobody wants a relegation footnote on their CV," Kavanagh told the Echo.
"I've have one with Sunderland, and I can tell you it is a horrible experience that I don't want to go through again."
Cardiff beat Wednesday at Ninian Park in January. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scoring the only goal of the game. But Kavanagh thinks his current side are not getting the rub of the green.
"At Sheffield we have had a tremendous amount of bad injuries to be fair, and when you are down near the bottom the luck tends to go against you as well with deflected goals and all the 50-50 decisions by the officials," Kavanagh continued.
"There's no doubt about it, it's very much backs against the wall stuff at the moment for us.
"Things are tough here, and while Cardiff are going reasonably well, I have to be totally selfish and say we are desperately in need of three points.
"I will do everything I can to achieve that.
"We realise that Cardiff will be buzzing after their FA Cup win over Wolves and they will want to get things back on track in the league. So we're going to have to put in a big, big performance on Saturday if we want the win."
Kavanagh has fond memories of Cardiff. So much so he's love to come back one day to manage the club. He's doing his coaching badges at the moment.
"Cardiff has a special place in my life, my son was born in Cardiff and everything went well for me there," he added.
"And well, that play-off at the Millennium Stadium against Queens Park Rangers, how can anybody forget that?
"For me, playing for Cardiff was the turning point in my career and while I'm currently working on my coaching badges, I'd love to return to Cardiff some day as a manager or coach.
"But there is lot of talent in management circles and there are those with far more experience in football who would be mentioned before my name would crop-up.
"But, given the chance to return to Cardiff at some point in some capacity, I'd jump at it."