Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge sure of Cardiff City's home strength

Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge saves a penalty from Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge made an impressive penalty save in Cardiff's defeat at Bournemouth

Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has backed their home form to keep the relegation favourites in the Premier League this season.

The Bluebirds began life back in the top flight with a 2-0 loss at Bournemouth on Saturday.

But Etheridge believes they will be a tougher proposition at their Cardiff City Stadium home, beginning with Newcastle United next weekend.

"Home games are going to be crucial for us this season," said Etheridge.

Cardiff conceded just 16 goals at home in the Championship last season, the lowest in the division, and lost just three games in south Wales as they finished second behind Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"We weren't favourites to go up last year either and we proved people wrong, so that's the mentality we've got in the dressing room and we'll stick together," Etheridge added.

"I don't think any of the boys in our dressing room are intimidated by the League, of course we know it's a step up... each individual in our dressing room has got to step up as well.

"We don't need to fear anyone... we've got such a good tight group and the gaffer [Neil Warnock] says go out and enjoy it and we will.

"That'll get us through the hard times, because there will be tough times you know undoubtedly throughout the season."

Bournemouth 2-0 Cardiff City: Neil Warnock says players were 'nervous'

Etheridge, the first Philippines international to play in the Premier League, impressed against Bournemouth, saving a Callum Wilson penalty to keep Cardiff in the game until striker Wilson scored a late decider.

"The second half we grew into the game and I thought we were unlucky not to get something out of the game... it just didn't drop for us," Etheridge said.

"Their quality and the second goal just killed us off at the end.

"Personally it was great, but it's a team sport and we haven't come away with three points; the penalty save was obviously very good because it kept us in the game.

"We move on to next week and we're looking forward to it."

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