With Cardiff City securing their passage to top flight football next season, the big question is: what does it take to survive the drop?

Season after season we see teams promoted and relegated in quick succession.

Queens Park Rangers emerged from the Championship after being crowned champions at the end of the 2010/11 season, but it now looks as though this may be their last season in the top flight - even after investing heavily in their squad and managing staff.

Derby County were promoted to the Premier League in 2007, but with a lack of funds and new signings arriving at Pride Park, they only lasted one season in the top flight before being relegated with the worst points total ever accumulated in Premier League history.

So if money can't do it for QPR, and the original team chemistry can't keep the dream alive for Derby, what do newly-promoted teams have to do to survive the drop?

Well, that is the million dollar question. Here are some main ingredients of what teams might need to survive:

1. Make your home a fortress

Every crowd in the Championship revel at the prospect of Premier League teams visiting their home town. If they can raise the decibel level and create an atmosphere to spur their players on, anything can happen.

Home wins against the so-called "elite" for so-called "lower" teams aren't unheard of in the Premier League. Stoke City's home performances have kept them in the top flight since 2008.

2. Play as though you can beat every team

Every team has it's weaknesses, whether it's over confidence or underestimating their opponents. Teams such as newly-promoted Southampton, have proved that the "big boys" are there to be had: picking up vital wins against Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool that shocked and stunned the Premier League, while pushing their hopes for survival in the right direction.

3. Beat the teams around you

You have to beat the teams fighting for survival with you. Picking up points against your relegation rivals is a pivotal point in any team's first season in the top flight. Take all three points from those games, and the opposition lose three, hence the six-pointer billing these games have been issued.

4. Make key signings in pre-season

Not every signing has to be world class - the wage difference between players can cause real problems in the dressing room. Often signing a player with plenty of Premier League experience, without the price tag, is a far better investment for these clubs.

5. Believe

These players have already shown they can be the best at Championship level; belief in their ability to deliver the goods on the big stage can prove decisive. Players such as Ricky Lambert have risen to the occasion since arriving in the Premier League this season, carrying his goalscoring threat from the Championship into the top flight.

It can happen, sometimes they just need to believe.

With a mix of these attributes - easier said than done, I'm sure - I believe it's possible Cardiff City, and whoever may follow, will have a real chance of survival coming into the 2013/14 Premier League season.


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