Belfast Telegraph

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's eager to make a good start at Cardiff

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has no intention of taking the FA Cup lightly as he prepares to take charge of Cardiff for the first time in today's third-round clash at Newcastle.

It has been a whirlwind 72 hours for the Norwegian, who flew into London with owner Vincent Tan to watch the Bluebirds' defeat at Arsenal on Wednesday, before being unveiled as Malky Mackay's successor on Thursday.

It has left the former Manchester United striker with little time to prepare for the trip to Tyneside, with sodden conditions at Cardiff's training ground not helping matters.

With Premier League survival top of the Welsh club's agenda, Solsjkaer could be forgiven for looking to ease himself into life at his new club.

But, in the wake of Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert's claim the FA Cup was a distraction he could do without, Solskjaer will not accept anything less than 100% in a competition he won twice as a player.

He said: "Every game is important. We know how close Cardiff were to lifting the cup a few years ago, so we go in there hoping to go through to the next round. The Premier League is very important but the FA Cup gives us a chance to build momentum.

"For me, the game is great because it is the first game and I have had a six week break since the Norwegian Cup final and I am eager to get going."

"I think there is pressure in every football game."

Solskjaer has received assurances from owner Vincent Tan and chairman Mehmet Dalman that he will have money to spend in January to keep the Bluebirds up.

Blackpool's Tom Ince and Crystal Palace's Jonathan Williams have already been linked with the Welsh club.

But, for now, Solskjaer kept his council on targets.

He said: "I love working with young, enthusiastic players who want to learn and improve.

"I have not read the papers and I have not seen the reports.

But I am looking at the possibilities and the options that we have."

Belfast Telegraph


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