Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Solskjaer targets derby history

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows what the derby means to Cardiff

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged his Cardiff side to make history when they face Swansea in next weekend's south Wales derby.

The Bluebirds claimed a morale-boosting 2-1 win over Norwich on Saturday to climb off the foot of the Barclays Premier League table.

Goals from Craig Bellamy and debutant Kenwyne Jones gave Solskjaer a maiden Premier League win as manager; it was Cardiff's first win in eight top-flight fixtures.

They now move on to face local rivals Swansea in a derby meeting which could play a big part in shaping where the two clubs end the season.

No side has ever completed the league double in meetings between the two Welsh clubs, but Cardiff have the opportunity to be the first at the Liberty Stadium, having claimed a 1-0 win on home turf in November.

"I know about the history of this fixture, I am aware there has never been a league double," said Solskjaer.

"Let's go out and make history. Why not? This may be the time.

"I watched the south Wales derby on television earlier this season when Cardiff won and the return is going to be another tough match.

"Over the years I have watched the Swans' journey with Roberto Martinez, then Brendan (Rodgers) and now Michael (Laudrup) in charge.

"There is a passion among Cardiff fans which I knew about before and has been evident since I arrived.

"We understand what this fixture means to the fans."

Cardiff's win owed much to the spark provided by the introduction of Wilfried Zaha from the bench in just the 38th minute.

But Norwich had more than enough chances to win several games, with Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall turning in the latest inspired display of an excellent season for the Scotland international.

His compatriot Robert Snodgrass was Norwich's best player, opening the scoring and leading by example throughout.

The midfielder's performance came at the end of a week where he apologised to the club's fans for an angry exchange with supporters during last weekend's game against Newcastle.

And Hughton was full of praise for the 26-year-old.

He said: "Robert got the goal, and showed what he is. He is a wholehearted player who wants to do well. We had a situation with him last week but he was big enough and brave enough to apologise and he is a big player for us.

"He will not look to hide away and he has been a real good player for us."

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