Russell Slade: Cardiff City play-off race 'could go down to the wire'

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent
Russell Slade
Russell Slade's Cardiff side have won three of their last five Championship games

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade has warned the scramble for Championship play-off places could go down to the final day of the season.

With ten games remaining, the seventh-placed Bluebirds are just one point off the top six as they host eighth-placed Ipswich Town in Cardiff on Saturday.

Cardiff face fellow play-off contenders Birmingham City on 7 May, when Derby - currently in fifth - will host Ipswich.

Slade predicted: "It will be intriguing and probably will go to the wire."

Slade's side are currently only ahead of Ipswich on goal difference and one point ahead of ninth-placed Birmingham - both of whom have a game in hand on Cardiff.

Slade believes another 20 points should seal a play-off spot and said: "Maybe we would take playing Birmingham at home to ensure it - that is the sort of scenario you could end up with."

The Bluebirds will be without Brazilian defender Fabio on Saturday, who is banned for one game after his second half dismissal in Tuesday's 2-0 home loss to Leeds United.

But the club are hopeful defender Lee Peltier will be able to return after a foot injury to fill the right back berth.

'Slowly turning a corner'

Slade believes there is a unity between the club and their fans, demonstrated by the ovation the team received after the Leeds defeat.

He added: "Football can be very fickle at times. It can be a tough journey. I have been in many journeys. And it just feels we are slowly turning a corner.

"But do I think we are there? Do I think there is more to come? I do think there is more to come.

"I said that to the players - 'don't put any limit on what we can achieve over the remaining 10 games' because there is always more to find, always more to give, always more improvement to come.

"We are making that improvement, we are getting better."

Striker Federico Macheda has been linked with a loan move to Championship rivals Nottingham Forest and Slade confirmed there had been interest from a number of clubs.

"There may be a possibility, we shall see whether he goes and gets a few games. But if he goes, there will be a 24-hour recall," said Slade.