By Gareth James
Mick McCarthy has told his Cardiff City players the derby win at Swansea City will mean nothing if they do not back it up against Nottingham Forest.
The Bluebirds go into the Good Friday clash at the CCS eighth in the Championship but just four points off sixth-placed Reading.
McCarthy is demanding that City show the same intensity that earned them a 1-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium as they resume their top six box following the international break.
“It will count for nowt if we don’t back it up now,” said McCarthy of the victory over the Swans that ensured no side has ever completed the league double over the other.
“You can’t guarantee a win, ever. You can only guarantee a good performance. If you perform well, more often than not you’ll win games.
“The difficulty is, the intensity we have had, then people go away and it is splintered and fractured.
“You have to get back to that intensity. The way we were playing and those performances.
“It’s not easy for any of us.”
With eight games left, City are right in the thick of a play-offs battle but McCarthy knows it is not in their own hands.
He added: “I would prefer to be top and they are all chasing me! But considering when we played Bristol, we could have gone fourth or fifth bottom.
“You could sense the change around the place, the confidence. We are now nipping at those in front of us.
“If you’re in the top six, all you worry about is falling out of it.
“Even if you’re in the bottom three, you’re chasing to get out. Fourth or fifth bottom, you don’t want to drop in now.”
Centre-back Curtis Nelson could return after a calf injury against Forest with Ciaron Brown having only arrived back from International duty with Northern Ireland don Thursday.
Perry Ng is also fit while Arsenal loanee Jordi Osei-Tutu is finally set to return on Tuesday in a friendly against exeter.