Sunderland, though, are the form team in the relegation fight, having taken four points at title-chasing Manchester City and Chelsea in their last two outings with a home win next Sunday possibly lifting them out of the bottom three.
“Next weekend is a proper cup final, of the same importance to both sides and the same mental test for both,” the Norwegian manager was quoted as saying by British media on Monday.
“This game didn’t really matter for Stoke, apart from their pride and professional attitude. But next weekend will be the same mental test for both teams.
“It will probably determine what happens with relegation. Other results will also effect it but it will be a massive game for us and we will prepare as if it’s the last game we will ever play.”
Solksjaer was appointed in January after replacing Malky Mackay, who was sacked despite steering Cardiff back into the top flight for the first time in 51 years, but has only managed three league wins since.
After facing Sunderland, Cardiff return to the northeast of England to take on out-of-form Newcastle United before they end their campaign at home to Chelsea.
With five teams separated by only four points at the bottom, the former Manchester United striker believes they can have their future sorted before the testing task of hosting Chelsea.
“Two wins I think will be enough but then again you never know in this league. You never know the outcome of any of the games in this league,” he said.
“We are two points behind Norwich, we have got to have one more win than them in the last three and get more points than Fulham and of course Sunderland, the same as them.
“I don’t think 34 will be enough. Thirty five might be and 36 will be.”
“Its not a miracle needed but its two very good performances needed in the next two games to give us a chance in the last game against Chelsea.”
(Writing by Patrick Johnston; Editing by John O’Brien)