Slade: 'We have set a standard now, so we need to maintain that'

Last updated : 08 April 2016 By BBC Sport

The Bluebirds have six Championship games remaining and are looking to make up a four-point deficit on fifth-placed Derby County and a six-points arrears on fifth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.

"We can't afford too many slip-ups, that's for sure. We need to get as many points from these 18 points that we've got left," he told BBC Radio Wales.C:WindowsTempphp3025.tmp
"We know football can be very cruel."

Slade's side lost ground on the top six and a play-off berth on Tuesday despite an impressive 0-0 draw with leaders Burnley, now unbeaten in 17 games.

Cardiff face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday with Slade saying any set-back would be a problem.

"If we did slip up it would put more pressure on us to produce in the remaining five games," he said.

"We're in a good place, that's the important thing. When that pressure mounts and you're running out of games, it gives you a real focus and concentration and desire to achieve something.

"I am looking forward to the challenge and I think the players are as well.

"We have set a standard now, so we need to maintain that."

Slade feels it will be key to Cardiff's chances to stop Fulham's prolific strike force as they visit west London.

Ex-Cardiff favourite Ross McCormack in the second-highest scorer in the Championship with 21 goals, while reported Tottenham-target Moussa Dembele has 14.

"Ross McCormack is in great form. We know how strong he is from any dead ball situations outside the box," Slade confirmed.

"He's a very, very good finisher and he's got Dembele alongside him and they seem to have a partnership that's flourished.

"If we can isolate their front two, who have scored the majority of their goals and we can deal with them, then we're going to give ourselves a very good chance of winning."

Slade has also dismissed newspaper speculation that defender Bruno Ecuele Manga is set for a summer switch to Premier League Bournemouth.

The Cherries are managed by Eddie Howe, a close friend of Slade's.

"I know Eddie really well; we speak every other week, so I am sure if there was something in it, he would have mentioned something," he said.

"It is probably someone just being a bit mischievous I suppose, but you are going to get speculation from time to time."