Peter Whittingham calm over 'pressure' on Cardiff City

Peter Whittingham has scored 11 goals for Cardiff City this season
Peter Whittingham has scored 11 goals for Cardiff City this season

Peter Whittingham says it is up to Cardiff City to keep the pressure on automatic promotion rivals Norwich City in the race for second spot.

Third-placed Bluebirds trail Norwich by a point with two games remaining in the Championship.

Cardiff host Middlesbrough in Monday's early evening kick-off with Norwich visiting Portsmouth a few hours later.

"At the start, the pressure's on us because we need to win," midfielder Whittingham told BBC Sport Wales.

"If we don't, we know if they win then it's all over.

"If we can get three points on the board then they're going to know about it as we will have gone into second and it will throw a lot of pressure on them and see if they can handle it."

Cardiff are unbeaten in eight games, having won five of those, while Norwich have lost just once in their last 13 outings.

Both teams face sides who are out of the running for the play-offs and are safe from relegation, a situation which Whittingham admits could prove tricky.

Middlesbrough appear to have turned the corner under boss Tony Mowbray, who replaced Gordon Strachan earlier this season, having been beaten only once in the last 10 games.

"It can always be a little bit weird for teams like that because they're not down there to be involved with the relegation but they're not going to make the play-offs either," said Whittingham, who has scored 11 goals this season.

"They could have a care-free attitude where it could go either way and we know it will be a tough game and they've got some really good players.

"We know it'll be hard, we know they'll come down here and try and upset us and we've got to handle that."

If Cardiff win, it will take the second automatic promotion race to the last game regardless of what happens to Norwich.

If they lose, Norwich will be promoted with a victory.

But both sides could still end up celebrating automatic promotion if champions Queens Park Rangers are found guilty on Friday of breaching league rules over the signing of Alejandro Faurlin, which could lead to a points deduction.