LONDON (Reuters) - Russell Slade, who has finally been confirmed as Cardiff City's new manager, believes an immediate return to the Premier League is possible.
Cardiff were relegated in May after one season in the top flight and have made an indifferent start to life in the Championship with three wins from their opening 11 matches leaving them in 11th place in the 24-team table.
But Slade, who left League One club Leyton Orient last month after four years at Brisbane Road, said there was plenty of time to make up lost ground and that he would be picking the team without any interference from hands-on Malaysian owner Vincent Tan.
"He is the owner and entitled an opinion but it will be me picking the team. If we can get a top-six finish that will be realistic and from that situation who knows, you can still get in the Premier League from those playoffs," Slade told reporters.
"A top-six finish is possible. It's a little bit of a battle considering the position we are in, but there are still 35 games to go and that gives us a realistic opportunity of getting in the shake-up," he said.
Tan gave an exhaustive interview to Sky Sports last week in which he revealed he had plunged 170 million pounds into Cardiff since becoming involved with the club in 2010.
Last season was their first in the top flight for 51 years but ended in relegation after Malky Mackay was sacked in December with the club in 16th place.
Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over but could not save them from the drop and he was sacked last month.
(Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Ed Osmond)