Neil Warnock admits he would not put money on Cardiff surviving in the Premier League this season.
Bottom-placed City have two points from eight games heading into the crunch home clash with fellow strugglers Fulham on Saturday.
“I think we’re 4-1 on to (go down) and they’ve thrown us to the wolves,” boss Warnock said of the bookmakers’ take on Cardiff’s survival chances.
“If I was a betting man, no I wouldn’t put money on us (to stay up). 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 of money and might do so again this year.”
Cardiff know a first league win of the season would take them above Fulham on goal difference.
The two sides were promoted from the Sky Bet Championship last term and Cardiff edged Fulham for the second automatic spot, leaving the Cottagers to go up via the play-offs.
Fulham have won only won once this season but Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Premier League’s joint second top marksman with five, has scored more goals than the four managed by the entire Cardiff team.
“If we’d had got Mitrovic, we’d be in a better position than we are now,” said Warnock, as Cardiff attempt to avoid losing six consecutive games for the first time since 1985.
“We couldn’t afford him but I would have loved someone like him.
“He epitomises English football, he can handle himself, he’s a threat and just wants to play. He’s the same when he plays for his country.
“Money isn’t everything, but if we’d had signed a Mitrovic we’d have been sorted.
“It’s difficult at this level unless you’ve got that £20m-£30m, but we’ve got to keep firing and hopefully score some goals.
“Three of our next four games are at home, none against the top six, and you don’t often get that in the Premier League.
“We’ve got a chance to get back in the pack and we’ve got to grasp that opportunity.”
Loan midfielder Harry Arter goes into the game one booking away from a fifth in the league this season and a suspension.
The Republic of Ireland international was also booked in his side’s Nations League defeat to Wales on Tuesday, 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.”