Solskjaer backs Norwegians to shine

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident his Norwegian contingent has what it takes to thrive in English football.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Solskjaer has already acquired compatriots Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Mats Moller Daehli from Heerenveen and Molde respectively.

And striker Jo Inge Berget, 23, will make it a trio of Norwegian signings when he completes his own move from Molde on Friday.

The trio all worked with Solskjaer at Molde and all share an agent with the former Manchester United striker.

They may not have been the big name signings some Cardiff fans would have hoped for, but Solskjaer has no doubts over the qualities of Eikrem, Daehli and Berget.

"We are talking about three full internationals I have brought in for a very cheap price compared to what they give us," he said.

"They are long-term value for money.

"Of course the haven't played in the Premier League but they are all full internationals and I know them because I have had them before.

"I know their personalities."

Of Berget, who completed a medical on Thursday, Solskjaer added: "He is a forward, only had four or five months left on his contract so he came on a very good deal for us.

"He knows the way I want to play. He is a secondary forward. He is strong, very intelligent and clever and scored against England in the Under-21 European Championships. So he will do well for us."

Another man expected to complete a move to Cardiff is Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha.

The 21-year-old has made just four appearances for the Red Devils this season, one of which came in the Community Shield win over Wigan.

A move to Cardiff would allow the England cap to gain regular first-team action, but Solskjaer insisted, contrary to reports, that the player has not had a medical.

''You have to ask Manchester United,'' said the Bluebirds boss. ''He is a Manchester United player. I cannot comment about players who are not Cardiff players. Nothing has been concluded.

"I can confirm he has not had a medical for Cardiff. I can say that. I don't know what he has done with other clubs but he has not had a medical with Cardiff."

Press Association Sport understands Cardiff are also close to completing a deal for Wigan defender Ivan Ramis as Solskjaer continues to strengthen his squad with the Bluebirds currently bottom of the Premier League.

With survival the priority, a trip to Bolton in the FA Cup may be a fixture Cardiff could do without.

But Solskjaer wants his side to use the fourth-round tie as a means of generating momentum.

He said: "Tomorrow is going to be an important game for the club.

"It is vital to build momentum and confidence. I hear many people say it is a distraction but for me it is another chance to get to know the lads and for them to implement what we are trying to do.

"The FA Cup was the biggest one-game occasion in football. I watched probably all of them. This is one final we really want to get to and this game is massive for us.

"But we need fresh legs and energy, especially mental energy, we need to rotate as we have another game on Tuesday and then Saturday."

And the Norwegian has urged his players to believe they belong at the elite level.

"Sometimes they need to get told they are better players than they think they are," he said.

"You cannot outperform your ego. So, they have got to start believing that they belong in the Premier League and that they should be playing against the Manchester Citys and the Manchester Uniteds.

"We are here because of the last four years and we are not here because it has just happened overnight.

"So I did put one or two points across at Man City and they responded really well.

"Players don't frustrate me, you just want to encourage them because you know they are so talented. Now, it's just to release the shackles."

Wigan manager Uwe Rosler later confirmed Cardiff had had a bid for Ramis accepted, with the defender set to discuss personal terms.

"There have been a couple of clubs who met the asking price and we gave Ivan permission to talk to them, that's all I can say," said Rosler.

"One is well documented. One is Cardiff."

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