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Welsh Football Previews – Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County and Wrexham

Sabri Lamouchi reckons Cardiff City need 15 more points before his players can hit the beach rather than land in League One.

The Bluebirds manager has told his squad they can relax and enjoy themselves if they gather another five victories, which he feels will be enough to stave off the threat of relegation.

But five victories from 12 remaining games – starting with Saturday’s home 12.30pm clash against Bristol City – is a tall order when you’re a side that took 21 matches to win your last five.

“The 12 games left are really important games, for sure, like 12 Cup finals,” says Lamouchi.

“We will not win 12 finals, but the idea is to win a minimum of five and to make sure we are safe as soon as possible.

“If we get 15 more points, we can then enjoy the rest of the season. But it’s when we can get them, that’s the question.”

Cardiff currently have 35 points from 34 games. Another 15 points would take them to the 50 mark.

Last season, Reading’s 41 points was enough to stay up. Before that it was Derby who finished 21st with 44 points. But the year before, Barnsley needed 49.

So, 50 points sounds like a reasonable figure for Lamouchi to aim for, although the Frenchman knows it will be a tall order unless they can find a way of scoring – and winning – while their most dangerous striker, Callum Robinson, is out injured for the next four games.

“It’s unfortunate we have lost Callum Robinson, but we still have a chance to score even without our best scorer. It’s my job to try and find a solution,” says Lamouchi.

“When I arrived, I identified the problem. That was simple. We had the worst attack in the league, so we need to work on the system and try to create more opportunities.

“We are getting better, but we don’t yet have the killer mentality. Other teams have that and they score and that’s the difference.”

Bristol City are in good form. They lost 3-0 to Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup in midweek, but before that they had been on a 12-match unbeaten run.

Swansea City are another team who seem to have lost the ruthless instinct as they continue to slip down the Championship table.

They are now back in 15th place and travel to face a Luton Town side riding high in sixth – just where Swans fans hoped their team would be at this stage of the campaign.

It’s a season that seems to have imploded, however, with Russell Martin’s side now having won just three times in their last 15 matches.

If you take Lamouchi’s yardstick of 50 points being a reasonable guarantee of survival, then the Swans need to pick up seven more points from somewhere.

They won’t be favourites to pick up a win at Luton, though, where the Hatters have only lost twice – to Burnley and West Brom – since early September.

“We need something to spark us back into life and get the confidence back,” said Martin.

“Going through this tough moment will definitely benefit the younger players in the future, but we need to deal with it quickly.

“We go away from home on Saturday, it will be a great atmosphere with the fans we will take. We’ve sold out, which is brilliant and we are so grateful for the support.

“We have some games coming up against teams in the top six, but it almost doesn’t matter who we face, we have to start finding ways to win. I am sure we will.”

Newport County travel to League One rivals Salford, aiming to repair things after their five-match unbeaten streak was ruined by a 2-0 home defeat to Sutton United.

County are in 18th position, a comfortable 11 points above the relegation zone, but too far adrift, it would seem, to mount a realistic play-off push.

More interesting is the fate of Wrexham, the new leaders in the National League after their 2-1 midweek victory over Chesterfield.

The Dragons are a point above Notts County, with a game in hand, and will be hoping to extend that lead by winning at 14th-placed Maidenhead United.

Wrexham have not been beaten in the league – home or away – since October 4 and manager Phil Parkinson aims for it to stay that way.

“The players work their socks off every day in training when we are in, they are very focused and they are a humble bunch,” said Parkinson.

“The key thing for us is we stay humble and make sure that we do everything properly, and who knows where it can take us.”

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