After a bright opening, Cardiff City fell to defeat against a clinical Hull City on Saturday; two goals in each half giving the Tigers all three points in the Welsh capital.
Following the match Ole Gunnar Solskjær gave an honest appraisal of the afternoon, stressing that hard work, application and belief are the factors that can help keep his team in the top flight.
“We just weren't good enough in the two boxes.” The manager summarised, reflecting on a performance that could have seen Cardiff out of sight within the first twenty minutes. “We conceded two goals in the two attacks they had in the first half – the first mistake we made, they pounced on it.
“We were unfortunate to be 1-0 down after twenty minutes, but that's football, if you don't take your chances you've got to hold your hands up and say you didn't deserve it.”
Penalty appeals were waved away by Howard Webb, but Ole refused to blame other factors, simply saying, “I'm not going to make any excuses. It comes down to what we did on the pitch.
“You can't hide the fact that we've lost to a team around us. It's going to take a run to catch some of the teams, but we still need five wins in the next eleven. We need fifteen more points. We need to work hard and do the right things, not make rash decisions.
“We did create chances, but of course we cannot give [Jelavic] time inside the box. They were efficient, they defended really well and scored four goals with five shots on target.”
Despite the obvious frustrations and disappointment from within the dressing room after a bad day, the Cardiff boss took positives from his squad’s endeavour and their insistence to push forward, even when three down.
“The lads never stopped trying,” he said. “We are working every single day – crossing, finishing and shooting to address it.
“These lads, knowing the character of them, will roll their sleeves up and give everything. They will never lay down and give up. That's the only way we're going to get out of this, by working hard and sticking together, doing the right things.
“The players wanted to do a bit too much today and that's good – you want players with the enthusiasm to make a difference. The enthusiasm and effort was there, but the decision making let us down.
“You can't concede soft, easy goals. That's been one of our strengths – we've got a goalkeeper and defence that can deal with pressure. Today we didn't have constant pressure, we were hit on the counter-attack.
“We know what we need to do. We need to find that fifth win – although we could now need a surprise result in that mix.”