Junior Hoilett believes Cardiff’s brotherly bond gives them hope of staying in the Premier League.
Cardiff remain in the relegation zone and two points from safety, despite ending a run of three successive defeats by beating West Ham 2-0.
But, after a week when former players Danny Gabbidon and Nathan Blake questioned the team spirit inside the Cardiff camp, there is fresh optimism that Neil Warnock’s side can collect enough points in their final eight games to survive.
Hoilett described claims of dressing-room unrest as “nonsense” and insisted Cardiff’s strength during the run-in will be squad unity.
“Everybody is like brothers in there,” Hoilett said.
“What has been said is nonsense. You saw last season how we fought for each other.
“We have been like that all season as well. We are positive and everybody is fighting for each other.
“The last three defeats wasn’t our character.
“But we fought for each other, we ran every inch on the pitch, and we just have to stay that way.”
Hoilett’s fourth-minute strike put Cardiff on the road to victory over the Hammers and gave the Bluebirds a half-time lead for only the second time in their 30 league games.
Victor Camarasa added a second seven minutes after the restart and Cardiff would have won by a more comfortable margin but for the shot-stopping ability of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
But fellow strugglers Brighton, Newcastle and Southampton all picked up precious wins as the battle for survival intensified.
“I didn’t think it was a must-win,” Hoilett said. “But, after seeing the results, it kind of was a must-win match.
“The results didn’t go our way, but we needed that to keep the pressure on and keep (others) on their toes.
“That is what we needed, it was positive and we need to take it on to the next games.”
West Ham’s hopes of a seventh-place finish which could result in Europa League qualification have faded away from home.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side are without an away win in 2019 and have now lost five of their last six league games on the road without scoring.
“It was a poor performance, but we really want to finish the season strongly,” said Fabianski, the only West Ham player to emerge from a sub-standard performance with credit.
“We have eight games left and we would like to push and get as much as we can from those games.
“We have two home games now, which are important, and from which we can get something.
“The manager is very demanding. He wants us to keep pushing.
“We have to listen to him and react to his words and to his expectations every single day.”