Cardiff City manager Steve Morison has urged his squad to put a “horrible weekend” behind them and bounce back at Reading on Saturday.
More positively for the 38-year-old, he has been named Championship manager of the month for March.
“Let’s hope the manager of the month curse struck before we knew we had it and it was on that game.” said Morison.
Responding to furious fan criticism of the manner of last weekend’s defeat, Morison denied the Bluebirds cared less than their Swansea counterparts about the South Wales derby – pointing out his coaching staff included Cardiff-born Tom Ramasut and ex-club skipper Mark Hudson.
And after three wins and a draw in March leading up to the derby, Morison said it was important to consider the “bigger picture.”
“We came in on Monday morning and we had to put it to bed. The difference between us and the fans is that we have to try and perform again on Saturday.
“We have to pick the lads up off the floor. What I reiterated to the players is that we all had a tough weekend, everybody personally, everyone’s families, everyone’s friends. It was a horrible weekend.
“But ultimately we have to get on with our jobs and put in a performance on Saturday.
“As tough as that is for people to hear and understand, that is the reality of our job.
“We have to go to work again and we have to make sure this last seven games [Cardiff’s remaining fixtures] does not become null and void because we had a terrible result against our arch rivals.
“No-one can get away from that fact, but ultimately it is part of a bigger picture. We have done some excellent work and that is why this morning we have been given the manager of the month award, because of how well we had done up to that game.
“My job now, with my staff, is to make sure we don’t get sucked into too much negativity and too much bad feeling and bad vibe because we have a really young group of players who are still learning.”
Morison re-iterated his squad did not handle the big occasion well and said he had paid particular attention to the younger squad members in the aftermath of the derby defeat.
“I had to treat them as I did my own kid and how he must have felt.
“Coming in on Monday morning you could still see the look in their eyes of rabbit in the headlights – oh my gosh what just happened at the weekend.
“For us now the job is to help them grow, help them be better and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Meanwhile striker Max Watters has stepped up his recovery work, returning to training on grass, as he returns from an ankle injury sustained in February.
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