Gylfi Sigurdsson enjoyed his Welsh home-coming but says Cardiff City can only survive in the Premier League if they sort out their form on their own patch.
Sigurdsson returned to Wales with Everton on Tuesday night and scored two typically classy goals as the Bluebirds were humbled 3-0 in front of their own fans.
It was the Icelander’s first trip back over the border since he left Swansea City in a £45m move 18 months ago – an acrimonious departure that saw him refuse to go on the club’s pre-season tour of the USA.
“It was great to score the two goals and it was a good performance from us. Three goals and a clean sheet – a perfect day,” said the Everton midfielder.
“It was very important to score the first goal because we know how tough they are to play against, especially at home, but I thought we were always in control after that.”
The defeat was another wasted opportunity for the Bluebirds who have now won just one out of their last six games at home.
They continue to hold a slender one-point lead over Southampton, who can send Cardiff back into the bottom three if they take just a point from their home game against Fulham this evening.
Neil Warnock’s team now have only 10 matches left in which to save themselves from relegation straight back to the Championship, with six of those away from home.
The four remaining home fixtures are against West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Crystal Palace – games which Sigurdsson says will determine Cardiff’s future.
“If they can win their home games that will be very important for them,” added the player who got the better of countryman Aron Gunnarsson on Tuesday.
“Apart from the last two games, they’ve done well recently with some good results at home.
“They had been climbing up the table, but the results are so strange in this league and anyone can beat anyone. The home form for them is massive.”
Sigurdsson will now turn his attention to Everton’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Goodison Park on Sunday, where he believes the morale-boosting performance against Cardiff will prove an influential factor.
“You could feel the confidence and a bit of freedom coming in to the team at 2-0 up. It’s a lot easier to play good football when you’re 2-0 up and you’ve got a bit of a lead.
“Of course confidence is important to us and it’s nice to get it back with a performance like this. We probably could have had more goals in the second half if we were a bit more clinical.
“It would be fantastic to back it up with another good performance and another good result against Liverpool. These are the games you are looking forward to before the season starts.
“It doesn’t matter where they are in the league. You always want to win these games, especially after the disappointing ending to the game the last time we played them.
“To lose a derby game like that, being so close to a good point away from home, was very disappointing. It would be fantastic to get one over them now.”