Neil Warnock concedes Cardiff’s shock FA Cup exit could be a “blessing” as they battle for Premier League survival.
The Bluebirds suffered a third-round upset at the hands of League One strugglers Gillingham on Saturday.
A bad day for the south Wales club was compounded by injuries to Kadeem Harris and Danny Ward at Priestfield, damaging Warnock’s slim squad ahead of next weekend’s important relegation battle with Huddersfield.
“It might be a blessing. We lost a couple of players, and we can’t afford to lose any players really,” said manager Warnock, whose team are two points above the drop zone.
“I think I started four players from the last game and they’ve come through all right, that was my concern really.
“It’s a big game next week – as they all are now.”
Midfielder Harris was taken to hospital after undergoing an x-ray on a shoulder problem which required lengthy treatment on the pitch, while forward Ward sustained a cheekbone injury.
In the aftermath of the 1-0 defeat in Kent, Warnock vented his frustration at missing out on the loan signing of Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne.
He branded the situation a “disgrace” after claiming to have been promised the player by the Reds before Clyne subsequently moved to Bournemouth.
The Bluebirds are working hard in the transfer market and Warnock, who expects to have striker Kenneth Zohore back in training next week following injury, accepts he may have to be patient if he is to increase his options before the deadline.
“I think we’ve almost agreed terms for one particular player,” said Warnock, who has been heavily linked with Nice defender Adrien Tameze.
“There’s numerous players we’ve been linked with, the chairman (Mehmet Dalman) and Ken Choo (CEO) are talking to loads of players as far as I’m aware – second, third choices – to see who’s available.
“But we’re not going to bring people in that aren’t better than what we’ve got. You’ve got to get the right ones in.
“You look at some of the players we’re looking at and the figures are astronomical. I think it’s going to be one of those jobs again, late on in the window again where somebody decides to let somebody go.”
Victory for the Gills, who are a point above the League One drop zone, puts them into the fourth round for the first time in 15 seasons.
Manager Steve Lovell is keen for another draw against top-flight opposition.
“We are all the same – we want to play the big boys again,” he said.
“Whoever it is, we are in the fourth round of the FA Cup and I think it’s a long time since we’ve been there so I’m proud of that.”
Asked if a cup run could help move the team away from danger, he replied: “Maybe, you don’t know.
“Until you actually do it, you don’t know. Some clubs in the past, it’s hindered them because of the FA Cup.
“I know the group of players I’m working with and that will only give them a boost.”
– Press Association