Solskjaer aims for FA Cup rally

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 Saturday's third-round clash at Newcastle.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

It has been a whirlwind 48 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 per cent 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.

"For me it is a way of getting into the job. Of course the Premier League is vital but now it is the FA Cup and the next game is the most important one.

"I think there is pressure in every football game. Every time you train and go out onto the pitch in the FA Cup, League Cup and Premier League there is a pressure on yourself and your pride says you go out and do your best.

"That is what you have to do. We are not going to go there and do 99 per cent, we go out there 100 per cent.

"I have had success in the FA Cup a couple of times and walking around waving to the fans after winning it are memories you remember."

Solskjaer has received assurances from 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, while Press Association Sport understands the likes of Mame Biram Diouf, Molde's Mats Moller Daehli and Heerenveen's Magnus Wolff Eikrem are also on his radar.

But, for now, Solskjaer kept his council on targets, but acknowledged he is on the look out for young attacking talent.

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

"I have not read the papers, I have not seen the reports. But I am looking at the possibilities and the options we have.

"For now the most important thing is for me to work with the players who are here as they are a great bunch of lads.

"I have spoken to all of them and they have impressed me with their attitude. I can see they want to do well for themselves and the club."

While most of the Cardiff players are new to Solskjaer, there is one man who he remembers from his days at Old Trafford in the form of striker Fraizer Campbell.

The Norwegian admits it is nice to see a familiar face, even if he best remembers Campbell for denying him a goal in his testimonial at United.

He said: "I did not manage Fraizer but I played with him at United.

"He took my moment of glory away from me in my testimonial. He went through on goal and instead of passing to me he scored himself. We won 1-0, but he never read the script, but it is good to see him again."



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