Ben Turner is looking to Saturday’s visit of Fulham as an opportunity to take an important stride to Premier League safety, with the straight-talking defender under no illusions as to the task at hand and pulling no punches with his views on what’s needed from all associated with Cardiff City.
“We can’t hide away from it, we need clean sheets and we need goals”, he said. “Hopefully one can go in and from that more goals will follow. A goal can light up a team, especially a team that’s struggling for goals at the moment. We’ll keep working on it in training to be more of an attacking threat. There’s no getting away from the fact that it’ll take hard hours on the training pitches and a lot of belief. We need to believe that we’re going to score when the ball is in the box.
“This Saturday is now the biggest game for us, Fulham at home. We’ve been saying for a few games at home that they are ‘must win’ recently, and this game more than fits that description. There are ten games left and our aim is to try and win fifty per cent or more of them. It’s all about trying to make that happen, step by step.
“We can’t win five at once, we have to win one and go from there – and we all know that we need to win the first one quickly.”
The aim from Turner and his team-mates is to build on the positives from the progressive display at White Hart Lane on Sunday, a match that ended in defeat, but also with renewed hope as to what can be achieved over the final ten games.
“We acquitted ourselves well,” Ben said of the Spurs match. “There’s no getting over how poor we were as a team last week against Hull. After the Hull game we looked back at it and had a good talk about how it looked to those outside and the need to bounce back against Spurs with a good performance. It’s obviously hard to take, not getting anything out of the match, though we’ve taken a step in the right direction going into the last ten games.
“I don’t think you could argue if we had taken something out of the game. It’s harder to take because of the position that we’re in, but it was a good team performance and something to build on. It didn’t happen again for us and we’re still looking for a turning point this season. But we all know that we’re still in the race and that we’re not out of it yet.”
The Bluebirds are now without a number of players leading up to the weekend clash against Fulham, a situation replicated across a number of teams in the top two divisions as players head overseas. But for Ben, the international break can be seen as a positive, helping the squad to focus going forward.
“We’ll lose a lot of the lads until Thursday, which could do some of them good, having a different challenge and focus with their international teams,” Ben said. “We’ll then come back together, training together before the match on Saturday, making sure we’re fully prepared.
“I read the press and I read recently about the best ever relegation escapes in the Premier League. There are teams that have come back from further than we are on numerous occasions. It’s probably happened a handful of times and the Premier League is not that old, but it’s still very much doable for us. We just need to stick together.
“Not beating Fulham would not be the end though. We have to win five games and until there are not enough games left to do that then we will keep going. We definitely believe we can still stay up and know that we need to win home games. We did that against Norwich, but then we let ourselves down against Hull. But that’s done now. We need to win against Fulham and then go in search of four more wins from the nine left
“We’ve got every chance of doing it, but there’s also a chance we won’t. The important thing is that it is still in our hands now and while it is we have to keep performing. There’ll be no lack of effort, no giving in at all.”