Neil Warnock has urged his Cardiff City players to prove there is room for another great sporting comeback story this week.
The Bluebirds manager says he has been inspired by Tiger Woods’ triumph at the Masters where the 43-year-old won his first major tournament for 11 years.
Cardiff are even longer odds to stay up – 11-1 with some bookies – than Woods was to win another green jacket at Augusta, but Warnock insists the revival can start with a victory at Brighton on Tuesday night.
The Seagulls, who have played one game less than Warnock’s side and sit one place above them, 17th in the table, are currently five points clear.
“You’ve got to be optimistic,” Warnock said ahead of the visit to the Amex Stadium.
“We’ve had that many kicks in the teeth in the last four months [and] we keep bouncing back really.
“We’ve just got to look at the golf, and look at what he’s done, Tiger, which was amazing and nobody had given him a chance either.
“It’s just an amazing story really. He’s been written off that many times, hasn’t he? But that determination [he showed is incredible].
“And obviously over the last few weeks we have felt sorry for ourselves a few times and we haven’t got time to do that now. We have to give it our best shot and if it’s not good enough we’ll accept it.”
Last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Burnley has left Cardiff stranded on 28 points, with Warnock having previously stated they needed to get to 38 to give themselves a fighting chance of staying up.
They may not need that many if Brighton – who were thrashed 5-0 at home to Bournemouth at the weekend – continue to struggle, but Warnock accepts that his team have reached the point of no return and must get something at the Amex Stadium.
“Yes I think you can say that. I thought we had to beat Burnley and Brighton if I am honest, so we are already one down. So it becomes even more important, I think for both teams. I think they must feel the same.
“I thought we were a little bit apprehensive with the occasion and the occasion tomorrow is going to be even bigger.
“But you have to be optimistic. We have had that many kicks in the teeth in the last four months we keep bouncing back, really.
Meanwhile, Warnock said he will contest FA charges over controversial remarks he made about Premier League officials.
Warnock was charged following comments he made in interviews immediately after the 2-1 Premier League home defeat to Chelsea on March 31 and in a radio interview the following day.
The 70-year-old called Premier League referees the “worst in the world” and had been given until Tuesday to provide a response.
“I’ve pleaed not guilty to the charges and I expect to have a hearing sometime this week, I hope,” Warnock said.
“But it can’t come early because we’ve got a game Tuesday and I’ve got a funeral on Wednesday up in Chesterfield.”