Gaffer set to blood youngsters at Vale Park
Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær sat down on Monday morning to look ahead to Tuesday’s Capital One Cup Second Round trip to Port Vale.
The Bluebirds boss had revealed that he would use the Vale Park clash to hand some valuable game-time to the likes of Federico Macheda, who has yet to make his Cardiff City debut after suffering a back problem in pre-season.
And Ole also provided a quick assessment of Saturday’s first defeat of the season, at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“They had one shot from about 25 yards, so that was the positive from the weekend despite the defeat," Ole noted.
"I’ve been on the other end of that. I was part of a Manchester United team which won a game without having a shot on target, beating Everton 1-0 with an own goal, but that’s football. United didn’t have a shot on target in that game, but we had quite a few against Wolverhampton, so I felt we deserved more.
“Mark [Hudson] is a top pro and has probably scored own goals before – maybe not as late, but he’s been as a captain should be and has just got on with it. That’s how you need to be in the game of football.”
The City Boss also took time to explain his reasons for making three changes to the side that beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 at Cardiff City Stadium for the weekend’s defeat.
“Rotation is part and parcel of what we want to do throughout the season. We need everyone firing, and while I may not make the right decision every time, most of the time I will do.
“We have to maintain fitness, and with such a short space of time between the games, that’s just how it is. I’ll always look to freshen things up at times.”
With attentions now turning to the Capital One Cup, the Manager revealed that while he would use the fixture to hand game-time to the players that currently need it, he also remained very hopeful of progression in the competition.
“It will be a different game to any other,” he said. “But it will be a chance for the players who need more game time to get out onto the pitch tomorrow.
"We’ll have to be at our best to give Port Vale a game, because they’ve started well. They lost this past weekend, but they had started really well up until that – it will be a tough game, as it would be anywhere you go away from home. Hopefully we can get the ball down and play, as we did at Coventry, because I thought we did fantastically well there.
“But for the game against Coventry, nobody would have heard of Jazzi [Barnum-Bobb], but he’s a good player, and when you’ve got good young players in the ranks, you want to give them a chance. You want a philosophy in the club to bring young players through – young players need to have something to look forward to, and if you only play the experienced players, you’ll never know when the youngsters are ready.
"I love giving young players a chance, and then you always hope that they’ll grab that opportunity, because they are the future of the club. We have a healthy academy here; we’ve produced players before and hopefully we’ll keep on doing that.
“I’m not sure the domestic cups here are any different from those in any other country, because you see surprises in any competition. It’s a chance for me to play players who haven’t played too much lately, and get them match-fit. I’ve got loads of players, and we’re going to get loads of games in a long season. If I get any injuries I don’t want to throw players in who haven’t played for three months, because you can’t expect them to perform. That’s why you keep rotating at times, to keep players on their toes. That’s absolutely natural in a long hard season.
“Aron [Gunnarsson] will be out with his ankle, but apart from that it’s looking okay. When I’ve got as big a squad as I have now, the cup is something that can help us with our league form. It won’t affect us too much because not all of the players will be playing Saturday and Tuesday each week. Kiko [Macheda] will be getting a game, as will Javi Guerra and Kim Bo. Declan [John] is a full international for Wales, and he’s not played in the league, so of course it’s important for us to give them competitive games.
“This is the only cup [League Cup] that I didn’t win for United, although I reached the final a couple of times. Now, I just want our players to go out there and express themselves and make it even harder for me to leave them out at Fulham on Saturday.”
Ole's full interview, plus the thoughts of Kiko Macheda, are available to view now on Cardiff City Player