Neil Warnock is depending on home comforts as Cardiff seek to stay in the Premier League.
The Bluebirds boss felt his team “couldn’t have given any more” during Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss at Arsenal that came on the back of new signing Emiliano Sala’s disappearance.
The defeat left Cardiff three points from safety with 14 games to play, but Warnock is targeting February’s home fixtures with Bournemouth, Watford and Everton to boost their relegation battle.
He said: “We’ve got a chance. Fourteen games. Three home games out of the next five. We’ve got to make them count.”
Warnock afterwards insisted he would not be seeking a striking replacement for Sala, with defensive reinforcements more likely before the transfer window closes.
Two days after Sala’s transfer to Cardiff in a £15million deal from Nantes, the Piper PA-46 Malibu plane carrying the Argentinian striker and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared over the English Channel en route to south Wales last week.
An official search was called off last Thursday, but funds have been raised to conduct a private exploration.
Warnock said Cardiff spent two months recruiting Sala and would not be in the market for a new striker ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline, as there was little likelihood on signing a player better than the ones they already have.
Arsenal have been linked with loan moves for Barcelona’s Denis Suarez and Ivan Perisic of Inter Milan, but boss Unai Emery would not name names after the win, which was secured by goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Injuries contributed to a poor performance defensively and saw Carl Jenkinson make his first Premier League appearance for the Gunners since November 2016 – a period of 801 days.
Jenkinson said on arsenal.com: “Now I’ve got to push on. I’ve got to keep working. That’s what I do best.
“I’m pushing and I’m pushing. We’ve got top lads in the squad and whoever plays is going to do a job, but for personal pride of course I want to be in the team.
“I’m training as hard as I can to give the manager a problem and get myself in the team.”