THERE will be no quarter asked or given when Wanderers welcome Cardiff City to the Macron tomorrow.

That is the view of Phil Parkinson, who expects his opposite number Neil Warnock to send his players out ready to scrap for the points.

And if the Whites are to succeed against the team hot on the heels of leaders Wolves they have to match the visitors' muscle.

"If you look at Cardiff they have a no-nonsense type of approach at the back, they quite often play three central midfield players, they have pace out wide, and we’ve got to make sure we’re strong, and we’re not leaving ourselves vulnerable to the counter-attack," said the Wanderers boss.

"We’ve seen them quite a bit, we know what to expect. They’re not a team that’s going to roll the ball out at the back and keep the ball on the edge of their own box.

"They’ll play off the second balls and look to play most of the football in the opposition half so we’ve got to be ready first and foremost to win that first ball and the second ball and play from there.

"We’ll look to get three points without chasing the game and leaving ourselves open. I think that’s key, winning the games from a strong platform, like most teams do."

Though they come to Bolton unbeaten in six games, Cardiff have close to a full side's worth of players out injured.

But, particularly in the wake of defeat at home to a Burton side who climbed off the bottom of the table last weekend, Parkinson is under no illusions – tomorrow's assignment will test his players' mettle to the full, regardless of the personnel on the pitch.

"They’ve got good players, they’ve got a good squad, but they have some out injured so that’s got to be a positive for us," he said.

"I think whoever plays for them, they play a set way and they won’t change from that and we know what to expect, we know the physicality of Cardiff and we have to match that first and foremost.

"It’s going to be that physical type of Championship game, different to the Reading game, in this one both teams will have to roll their sleeves up.

"We’ve got to look at the qualities we took into the Barnsley game and other key games we’ve had in our good run, and know we’re going into a game against a really competitive team, all Neil Warnock teams are.

"We have to be ready for that on Saturday because they’ll be ready to roll their sleeves up so we have to be ready to show a response to our defeat last weekend."

There is little doubt the loss last weekend was a demoralising one, not to mention the effect it had on Wanderers' position in the Championship table.

But with a bank of leaders in the squad Parkinson has been impressed by the mood in the camp, allowing the players to draw a line under last Saturday and focus solely on tomorrow's tough outing.

"We’ve got a lot of experience in the dressing room, I stress to them a lot that they haven’t got to just look at me and Steve [Parkin, assistant manager]," he added. "They’ve got to be a self-managing group, they are a group of players who drive each other on so it’s got to come from within as well as from the staff.

"But I’ve seen the reaction I wanted, their attitude has been excellent, I can’t fault them.

"The ones who haven’t played had a practice game on Monday because we felt they needed some 11v11 practice going into the Christmas period, that went well, and as the week’s gone by we’ve concentrated on what we need to do against Cardiff.

"Our preparation has gone well. The training ground’s always a quieter place when you’ve lost, especially with the manner of the defeat, but all you can do in football is look at the reasons why and move on quickly to the next game and that’s what we’ve done."