'Arter would get booked in training'
While Neil Warnock admits he would not put money on Cardiff staying in the Premier League this season, he may be tempted to wager that his midfielder Harry Arter will get shown another yellow card when his bottom-of-the table strugglers host Fulham today.
Loan midfielder Arter goes into the game one booking away from a fifth in the league this season and a suspension. The Ireland international was also booked during Tuesday's Nations League defeat to Wales, conceding the free-kick from which Harry Wilson scored the only goal of the game.
"You don't get players like that on loan unless there's something in their make-up," Warnock said. "Eddie Howe (Bournemouth manager), to be fair, did say that to me. He said he'd get booked in training!
"But I don't want to change him. I've just got to make sure I get back-up when he's suspended."
Warnock said it would be "a miracle" if Cardiff, who have two points after eight games, managed to defy the odds.
However, the veteran manager, who is without a win in his past 14 Premier League games, insists he thought the same about the club's chance of promotion last season.
"If I was a betting man, no I wouldn't put money on us to stay up," Warnock said. "But I wouldn't have put a penny on us getting promotion last season. I would have said, 'Keep your money in your pocket, don't be stupid'. But some people won quite a lot and might win an awful lot again this year."
Cardiff face Fulham today at the start of a four-game spell which includes three home matches against teams in the lower half of the table. Warnock agreed that it was "a critical stretch" in the fight for survival.
"It looks bleak as we are 1/4 for relegation, so the bookies have already thrown us to the wolves. But we have three out of four home games in the next month - none of which are against teams in the top six - which are crucial."
After today, Cardiff travel to Liverpool before hosting Leicester and Brighton.
Defeat today would make it Cardiff's worst start to a season and test the board's patience, especially considering Warnock's woeful Premier League record. Each of his three promotions have been followed by the sack the following season.