By David Williams
Cardiff City manager Sabri Lamouchi insists he wants to stay at Cardiff City – but only after he has steered the club to safety in the Championship.
The Bluebirds boss has a deal that runs to the end of the campaign after becoming the third manager of a chaotic season.
The Lamouchi effect took a while to work, but if Cardiff can win at Preston North End on Saturday, then it would be their fourth in five matches.
They currently stand six points clear of the relegation zone but the Frenchman says the job – and his future – has still to be finalised.
“If you ask me if I’m happy here, yes,” said Lamouchi.
“But we have a mission to save the club. We are not safe. But to see the stadium with our fans happy is very, very positive.
“So, yes, I’m happy to be here and to work and to talk with you and to be in this position, but now it’s like that. After a couple of weeks, we have to sit and to discuss and we will see what’s happening in the club and what the club wants to do.
“I’m just thinking and focusing on my job now and the job now is not done.”
'I want to take care of them, I love them' – Sabri Lamouchi reveals candid talks with Cardiff City's young Welsh talents #CCFC #Bluebirds https://t.co/5RozSrHJtp
— Cardiff City Online (@CardiffCityLive) March 10, 2023
Cardiff Confident of Extending their Lead in Deepdale Clash Against Preston
Cardiff will fancy their chances of continuing their pull away from the danger at Deepdale.
Preston are unbeaten in their last five games, but four of those were draws and Ryan Lowe’s side have failed to score in back-to-back matches.
The Bluebirds have kept clean sheets in three of their last four games themselves and although they are without injured marksman Callum Robinson, Lamouchi considers they have sufficient firepower to maintain their turnaround.
“We don’t have Callum Robinson again but If we are like we were in the last few games, it would probably be tough for them (Preston).
“But if not, it will be really tough for us because we know absolutely the way they play, especially at home. They are bigger, stronger than us. So we just need to play with our quality and to do it all together.”
Cardiff fans are already looking towards their derby clash at home to Swansea City on April 1 and extracting some revenge for recent heavy defeats in the fixture.
Swans fans will feel less enthusiastic about that battle, since they are struggling desperately and will host Middlesbrough on Saturday on the back of three defeats in their last four matches.
Swansea head coach Russell Martin could be a man under pressure if they fail to get something from the Boro clash, although there are plenty of supporters who reckon the club’s problems stem from their American owners and their failure to invest.
That has forced Martin to explore all options, including recalling midfielder Jamie Paterson, who looked to be on his way out of the club in the last transfer window.
What's in store for Swansea City against Middlesbrough, Millwall and Bristol City as under pressure Russell Martin faces pivotal week #Swans #MillwallFC #Boro #BCFC https://t.co/RaCXUEuaze
— Swansea City Online (@SwanseaCityLive) March 9, 2023
Paterson could well keep his place against Boro and he said: “I’m just happy to be back out there and I just want to try and keep my place in the squad and do as much as I can for the rest of the season.
“Every footballer wants to be on the pitch so it’s been a difficult time not being involved but it happens to every footballer, you just have to stay positive and the lads were doing well at that time.”
Paterson will need to make an impact – Boro are flying with six wins in their last seven matches.
In League Two, Newport County host Bradford City at Rodney Parade, looking for their first win in four games.
County did stop the rot with a point at Grimsby last time out, but need to improve on a record of just one victory in their last seven home games.