Neil Warnock believes that Cardiff need 10 points from their remaining six games to “have any chance whatsoever” of ensuring Premier League survival.
Cardiff head to Burnley on Saturday then face Brighton, who are five points above them, next Tuesday in a crunch stage of their season.
“We are running out of time and points,” Cardiff manager Warnock said. “We need 10 points, really, to have any chance whatsoever.”
Warnock has no doubt that his players are ready to fight for everything during a run-in that also includes clashes with Liverpool and Manchester United.
“I’ve never seen anything other than a fighting spirit,” he added.
“I saw the desolation after the Chelsea game (in which Cardiff suffered a controversial 2-1 defeat), where we all felt we could have had more points on board. You can’t take that away.
“The dressing room has not been like that this season, even when we have had poor results, but training has been good and they’ve really picked up. It’s been bubbly again.”
Warnock, meanwhile, underlined a sense of loyalty to the Cardiff fans that fuels an ambition to stay at the Welsh club next season.
“I just feel as long as Vincent (Cardiff owner Vincent Tan) wants me to stay, no matter what division we are in, I think I owe it to the fans to stay,” he said.
“I changed my mind in the last couple of months with the Emiliano (Sala) tragedy. It brought a lot home. In the cold light of day, I don’t see anyone better to take over at this moment in time.
“Whereas if I can steady the ship next season, I will be in my final year at Christmas time, then I can help the club pick another manager.
“That’s what I would like to do, because the fans have been so good to me. I wouldn’t like to leave them in the lurch.”
Warnock has been charged with three breaches of the rules after comments he made following the Chelsea game two weeks ago, The Football Association announced on Friday.
The charges relate to post-match interviews with the BBC and Sky Sports, during which he labelled Premier League officials the worst in the world.
The officials failed to spot that Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta was offside when he headed in a late equaliser before Ruben Loftus-Cheek netted a stoppage-time winner.
The FA statement read: “It is alleged that comments he made in a post-match interview with the BBC, and a post-match interview with Sky Sports, following the Premier League game against Chelsea on 31 March 2019, were improper in that they questioned the integrity of the Match Official and/or implied bias.
“It is further alleged that comments he made in a TalkSport Radio interview on 1 April 2019 constitute improper conduct and/or bring the game into disrepute.”
He continued: “We’re having too many honest mistakes and it’s always the top teams who get the decisions.
“You almost begin to think, is it me? Is it payback time for all the years I’ve shouted at referees? Have they all got together now and said, ‘let’s get him out of this place’?”
Warnock has until 6pm on April 16 to respond to the charges.