(Reuters) – Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has called on his players to take inspiration from golf icon Tiger Woods’ sensational comeback story as he tries to defy the odds and keep the Welsh club in the Premier League.
Woods completed one of the greatest sporting comebacks on Sunday when he claimed his fifth Masters title, 11 years after winning his last major championship.
A final round resurgence earned Woods another Green Jacket and Warnock said Cardiff also needed to rediscover their spark with five games remaining in the season.
“We’ve just got to look at the golf, and look at what he’s done, Tiger, which was amazing and nobody had given him a chance either,” Warnock told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s relegation ‘six-pointer’ against Brighton & Hove Albion.
“It’s an opportunity for us to give ourselves a chance until the end of the season. We have to grab that.”
Cardiff travel to the Amex Stadium five points adrift of the safety zone and relegation rivals Brighton, who have a game in hand and sit one place above the Welsh side in 17th.
“We’ve had that many kicks in the teeth in the last four months (and) we keep bouncing back really,” Warnock added.
“And obviously over the last few weeks we have felt sorry for ourselves a few times and we haven’t got time to do that now. We have to give it our best shot and if it’s not good enough we’ll accept it.”
Defeat at Brighton would leave Cardiff seemingly doomed to an immediate return to the Championship, with their season run-in including daunting fixtures against league leaders Liverpool and fifth-placed Manchester United.
Cardiff have come out on the wrong side of refereeing decisions in recent weeks.
They had a penalty appeal turned down in a 2-0 loss at Burnley on Saturday, two weeks after conceding an equaliser against Chelsea which was widely viewed as offside.
The FA charged Warnock for his post-match comments about the officials after the 2-1 home defeat by Chelsea.
The 70-year-old confirmed that he is appealing against three breaches of FA Rule E3 for bringing the game into disrepute.
“I’ve pleaded not guilty to the charges and I expect to have a hearing some time this week, I hope,” Warnock said.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)