Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has conceded that Cardiff need to “produce a miracle” in their quest for Premier League survival.
Cardiff dropped a place to 19th following their crushing 3-0 home defeat against Crystal Palace, and they are now six points adrift of possible safety with just five games left.
Former Cardiff player Joe Ledley scored Palace's second goal, in between strikes from ex-Saint Jason Puncheon, as the Londoners continued their spectacular revival under manager Tony Pulis.
Cardiff have picked up just two wins and bagged eight points in Solskjaer’s 13 league games in charge ahead of next Saturday’s visit to St Mary’s.
And the manager has already admitted Cardiff need a “miracle” to win at Saints.
The Bluebirds away form is particularly dire with just seven points from 16 games, and only one success – 2-1 at Fulham last September.
“It was a big game, and I am very disappointed for the fans and players that we ended up with a performance like this,” Solskjaer said.
“If you produce a miracle - that sometimes happens in football - you are still capable of getting out of this and staying in the Premier League.
“I am full of fight. It has been a tough season for everyone involved with the club. Today in the second half, it showed a little bit that it has taken its toll.
“There was a lack of belief a little bit towards the end. We ran out of ideas.
“They are professional footballers and they have got to realise they have still got something to fight for.
“If you do produce a miracle against Southampton, suddenly you might be back here in with a chance.”
Puncheon is now Palace’s joint top league scorer this season with five strikes, the same as Marouane Chamakh.
"It was a disappointing performance. Things like this give me more fight. Things will have to happen, things will have to change.