Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak heaped praise on manager Tony Pulis as the club edges closer to Premier League survival.
Palace were six points adrift at the foot of the table before Pulis replaced Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park on a two-and-half-year deal in November.
The 56-year-old has since guided Palace to seven wins to move five points clear of the drop zone with seven matches remaining after Saturday's shock victory over title contenders Chelsea.
That performance drew praise from Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who has tipped Pulis to claim the Manager of the Year award if he preserves Palace's top-flight status.
And Jedinak believes Pulis, who has never been relegated in his 21 years as a manager, is the reason behind the club's rise up the standings.
"He is a winner," the Australian midfielder said. "It didn't take me that long to figure that out. He wants to win and win every single thing.
"As a player you want to be around someone who is hungry and determined to do well and gets results to get you to where you want to be. That was something we needed. Having that clear picture of what is wanted helps out massively.
"He has done a fantastic job - enough to get a nomination for Manager of the Year in my opinion.
"We are all enjoying the challenge. By no means is it over yet but it has got us to where we are and it has given us a fighting chance of achieving what we want to achieve."
Palace can move eight points of the relegation zone with victory over struggling Cardiff, who are three points from safety and running out of chances to remain in the top flight next season.
Jedinak is expecting another physical contest with so much at stake for both teams.
"It is something we have come accustomed to," he said. "There is nothing wrong with trying to roll your sleeves up and trying to get on with the job.
"If you turn up as a team and are committed week in, week out, more often than not you are going to get your share of results. I think that has played a big part in our season."
|28||K. Théophile Catherine|
|Coach: O. Solskjær|
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