The Baggies are perilously placed just three points above the Premier League drop-zone after a wretched run of form that has seen them win only one of their 10 matches under Mel.
|WEST BROM LATEST
|10/3||West Brom are 10/3 with Bet365 to be relegated this season|
"[Relegation] is not a situation that comes into my head. I am far more optimistic," Mel told the press.
"We need the spirit we had against Swansea. We've been conceding too many early goals.
"We need that extra effort against Cardiff. For us there is only one game; Cardiff is the 'final'. The only thing that will do for us is a victory."
Mel has a series of injury problems with which to contend and striker Victor Anichebe is his major concern.
The powerful forward suffered a hamstring injury in West Brom's 2-0 loss at Hull City on Saturday and the manager confirmed: "There is a question mark over Anichebe.
"We will see how he is [on Friday]. We are waiting to find out on Anichebe but we need to make sure we are strong defensively. We've conceded too many goals."
Morgan Amalfitano is available again following a knock but Billy Jones and Claudio Yacob will both miss out after suffering hamstring injuries.