Ole Gunnar Solskjær was satisfied leaving Ewood Park with an away point on Friday night as his new look squad were held by Blackburn Rovers. But while the draw against an established Championship squad in Rovers could be vital at the end of the season, the Cardiff City boss wants to see big improvements in the way Cardiff play, should the club wish to contest for honours.
“I’m happy with a point away from home against one of the favourites (for promotion),” Ole said. “When we add up the points in May, hopefully that will prove important. It's been proved that we've got characters to deal with these games. This is going to be a relentless season with many, many games.
“We can play loads better football than this, but we dug out a result. It was never going to be a pretty game. It's the first game, it's away from home and they don't let you settle. They play a very direct style of football and have got Gestede and Rhodes as an outlet all the time. They caused us problems with Tom Cairney and Craig Conway. We knew about them, but I thought we handled them quite well.
“To have come away from home and got a point here, we would have taken that before the game. We have made a solid start and I’m pleased with a point away. Now we have to build on this in home matches against Huddersfield and Wigan.”
Solskjær also praised the centre-back pairing of Mark Hudson and Matt Connolly, a rare partnership in Cardiff City colours over the last eighteen months, saying, “The two of them were outstanding. They are desperate to play football and I was delighted at the way we defended our box. The performance and attitude of the lads was first class, particularly when we were defending.
“Matt and Mark were fantastic heading the ball away and helping David Marshall keep the ball out of our net. They are both part of my squad and are going to play their part.
“It’s a relentless season though, and both of them had difficult times last season because of injuries. We can’t expect them to play every Saturday and Tuesday, which means we are still be looking to bring another centre-half in. But they are experienced defenders and we need that. Experience runs through the team with Marshall, Brayford, Gunnarsson, Whitts, Adeyemi, Maynard, Jones and more.”
Final praise was directed to goalscorer Kenwyne Jones from the City boss, as Ole explained his 2014/15 hopes for the striker, saying, “He's had a great pre-season, he's worked really hard. It's paid off for him. Kenwyne's fitter now. He came not very fit - he's worked really hard over pre-season and we're going to keep working him. On his day he is very hard to handle and obviously the goal was great. Kenwyne's great in the air and we know that.”
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