Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & Aron Gunnarsson speak ahead of Blackburn Rovers clash.
City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær is well aware of the threats from Friday night opponents Blackburn Rovers. Under the command of Boss Gary Bowyer, Rovers just missed out on the play-offs last term and Ole understands that the match will be a real test of his squad.
“Blackburn have a number of players that we will have to be wary of including two familiar names,” he said. “Craig Conway and Rudy Gestede are obviously going to be a threat. Craig’s crossing and energy is outstanding. He’s a player I wasn’t sure about letting go last season but he needed to play football and he seems to be enjoying his time at Blackburn. Gestede is undoubtedly a physical presence; he’s 6’4 and will always cause problems in aerial battles.
“I personally know Corey Evans and Josh King, who are both very good players. I didn’t know a lot about Jordan Rhodes but from watching him recently it’s clear to see he’s a very good goal-scorer with strong movements. We will have to be wary of their front line. Hopefully we can put in a good performance and get a result. It’s a tough one, but we aren’t afraid to start in the deep end.”
A strong pre-season campaign, and six experienced additions to the Cardiff City squad has given the Welsh Capital a renewed belief that the 2014/15 season can bring further successes.
Ole talked up the mood in the camp, saying, “At the moment the team spirit is fantastic. We feel we’ve got the right characters in and Tom (Adeyemi) is another one of those players who has a great enthusiasm for football. When you look in his eyes when speaking to him, you can tell how eager he is to get on the pitch. He’s played in this league and is the kind of character we will need in our dressing room with a demanding Championship season ahead.
“Performances from pre-season can breed confidence, while results don’t strictly matter. When you begin the season and points come into effect you always want to start to build momentum. Confidence doesn’t come from anything, but results and performances in football and we are looking forward to a good start.
“I’ve thought long and hard about what could have happened and what did happen last season and it is hard when you have disappointments. It’s very difficult when you are ambitious and want to reach certain targets. My job is to get results for the club and build a foundation that will be sustainable in the Premier League in the end. So let’s make sure we get results this season.
“We’ve been looking forward to the opening match ever since our last season ended. We want to show that we are a good team and show those who have travelled up to Blackburn that we can bounce back”
Cardiff City's Aron Gunnarsson has enjoyed a full week of training ahead of the Bluebirds' trip to Ewood Park and is looking forward to coming up against two former teammates on Friday night in the process.
“Blackburn Rovers will be a hard game,” he said. “They have two good players who we know all about in Rudy and Craig Conway. They have a strong all round team and ended last season fighting for a play-off position. Obviously they will be looking to build on this and start strongly at home.
“They won’t be giving us anything and will be up for the battle, we know that it’s important to have a good start also and hopefully we will get that.”
Aron’s finished his first season in the Premier League with 23 appearances, scoring the first ever Cardiff City Premier League goal. The Icelandic skipper is well aware though of the many challenges City will face in the second tier this term.
“There is quality in this group,” he admitted. “You need a big squad to be able to cope with the demands of the Championship and thankfully we have that. You also need to be consistent in this league. If you are consistent, and difficult to beat then anything can happen. As long as we work for each other as a group and fight for every game then we can certainly challenge for the top spots.”
Aron confidently stated. “We are entirely focused on this new season and absolutely raring to go.”