Malky Mackay has warned the civil war at Cardiff could cost the club their Premier League status.
Mackay remains in charge of the Bluebirds despite last week receiving an ultimatum from controversial owner Vincent Tan to resign or face the sack.
The Scot admitted he expected to be relieved of his duties over the course of the weekend, but instead was given a reprieve of sorts by chairman Mehmet Dalman, who said Mackay would be in charge for the “foreseeable future”.
That statement did include the caveat that there would need to be a thawing of relations between owner and manager, but Mackay remains in charge for now at least, with home games against Southampton and Sunderland looming.
But when asked if the current situation could have an effect on whether Cardiff – who are 15th in the Premier League table, four points clear of the relegation zone – stay up or not, Mackay said: “Absolutely. You cannot have your dirty linen washed in public every week of the year without it affecting the club.
“I am not saying it immediately affects the players as that’s my job to protect them.
“They are a great group of people that focus entirely on themselves, their profession and their want to stay in this league.
“My main focus is a steely determination that I and my staff make sure that everything is done to protect them and make sure that we have got the best chance we have of staying in this league.
“But, as I’ve said before, I feel sorry for our fans. They have been dragged through the front pages of newspapers instead of back pages and they should be really, really enjoying this league this year. I would hope at some point soon common sense will prevail.”
Mackay, Dalman and Tan have yet to meet for critical talks, with the manager claiming his request to hold discussions have twice been rejected and that there is unlikely to be any dialogue until the end of the week.
“I have read Mehmet’s statement and I’ve been asked if I will meet Mehmet (and Tan) which is absolutely something that would be for the good of us and the club going forward,” said Mackay.
“I think that should be sooner rather than later. I wanted that meeting to be today but that was declined. If not today, then tomorrow but that was also declined.
“After that we are in Christmas Day and then it’s game day so unfortunately it is not gong to be until the end of the week.
“In the meantime I will do my job. That will not change. Mehmet is a good man and I have found that since he arrived at the football club.”
Mackay also revealed he had been “deeply upset” by Tan’s e-mail to him, in which the Malaysian was highly critical of the former Watford manager’s abilities as a manager.
And Mackay has been in touch with League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan regarding the message.
“What was in the e-mail is a matter of privacy. I was disappointed that it appears to have been leaked. There are enough people talking about it,” he said. I was disappointed in the content and that is something we will be addressing.
“I have already started addressing that as I have got Richard Bevan of the LMA, who is a fantastic man and is someone who helps out in situations like this as well.”
Many observers had expected Mackay to be sacked over the weekend, either before or after the match with Liverpool at Anfield. The Scot revealed he, too, expected the worst.
“I did feel I was going to lose my job on the weekend,” he admitted. “The e-mail deeply upset me. I declined to resign and expected to be sacked over the weekend. To give the fans a clap [at Anfield on Saturday] was something I wanted to do.”