The late heartbreak of Seamus Coleman’s sliced winner was difficult to take for all connected to Cardiff City away at Everton on Saturday, though for the two and a half thousand travelling Bluebirds and City boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær, optimism remains thanks to the performance and character of the away team against the top six Toffees.
“We feel very disappointed not coming away from Goodison Park with one or three points as I feel we did enough for that,” Ole said. “I thought the boys were phenomenal against Everton.
“There was a great team spirit and we are, of course, all disappointed. But it’s only the result that should have their heads down. For the rest of it is chin up time and we’ll pick ourselves up. I’m delighted with every single player that was out on the pitch - not just their attitude, but the way they got on the ball to play at times.
“I thought we were outstanding in the second half. We played well, created chances and when Wilf came on he should have had a goal and should have had a penalty - he made a great impact.
“He’s a good lad who wants to play football. He works hard and comes in every day and loves playing - he wants to be a part of this team. He was fantastic when he came on and he has something different. I thought he did enough to win the game, but never got the decision.
“You need to earn your luck and I thought that we’d done enough to earn it against Everton, but if you look at the decision to not give Wilf the penalty, with five minutes or so to go at one each, that could have given us three points, showing the margins involved. When you look back at it, it’s a cert, a stonewall penalty. Wilf went through two or three of them and Distin tripped him up. We can talk about it all day long, but it won’t change anything, though we are due a decision soon.”
Praise was also directed to David Marshall, who again notched some impressive saves to deny the talented Everton attacking ranks. Luck however deserted the Cardiff City and Scotland number one, with both Toffees goals including more than a hint of good fortune.
“He’s been fantastic all season and has some great defenders in front of him,” Solskjær said of his ‘keeper and the back four. “We defended really well, but he also pulled out some fantastic saves. It took a good/bad one to be fair that went in, because he (Coleman) sliced it and they go in sometimes. That’s football.
“The first one is a deflection the second is a miss-hit. But I’m sitting here with no points and we need points. We were very close to getting something against Everton this time, so let’s try to get something when Liverpool visit us next weekend.”
Ole also outlined his desire to work flat out in order to see top flight status retained for the Welsh capital club, saying, “This is a major project and I am committed to it. My whole focus is on doing everything possible to ensure Cardiff City are still in the Premier League next season.
“We have big challenges ahead, but we are ready for those. Nobody at Cardiff City doubts we can keep our place in the Premier League and we have eight cup finals in which to achieve that. Our fans love their heroes out there on the pitch. I’ve said I’m going to work and earn their support, and they can see we have a team that is going to do our best to make them proud. We need heroes now definitely. It is eight games to go and I’m sure one or two heroes will step forward.”