OLE: FA CUP MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
Ole Gunnar Soslkjær was left ruing missed opportunities from his team as Cardiff lost to FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic in the fifth round.
“I always try to see the positive in a defeat, although today it’s not that easy as we thought we had a chance to go the whole way in the FA Cup, a great competition” he said after the game.
“We’re all disappointed, but although we created some good chances, we didn’t take enough of them and that’s why we’re not in the hat for the next round.
“We conceded a poor first goal, giving away a needless foul when it should have been headed clear. And from that we didn’t pick up in the box, which was costly. The second goal for them was a wonder-strike, which you can’t do too much about. Between them we had chances of our own, but by not taking them we’re out of the competition, leaving the league as our focus.”
Cardiff pressed forward in the second half, adding Juan Cala and Steven Caulker up front when possible. Though despite pushing the FA Cup holders back, Wigan, to their credit held firm.
“Towards the end you’re playing percentages, where from the chances you create the ball could land at your feet,” Ole said. “But for us it didn’t today. I can’t fault the effort and spirit of the players, they worked hard and put everything into the game, though it was one of those days where you’re left to rue missed opportunities.
“Today we started slowly for the first twenty minutes, but then played some great stuff, Wilf and Mats in particular who combined very well to create chances. The goal was the first time we really started playing, though we didn’t do enough to make the most of our possession, which we had the majority of.”
The frustration of defeat however was lessened by the contribution of new players, in particular Mats Møller Dæhli who continues to impress, with Ole saying, “Everyone who was here would have to agree that Mats did fantastically well, for me the outstanding player on the pitch. Today he did himself the world of good, playing a full ninety minutes.
“He proved again today that he’s going to be a fantastic footballer one day. He wants to get on the ball and play, creating chances for others. He also rarely gives possession away and even as the game was getting away from us, he helped us to regain a foothold. “I also thought Juan (Cala) did well for his first Cardiff City game.”
With the FA Cup behind us, the focus is now fully directed on Premier League survival, which the Cardiff City boss stressed would be a goal all would work hard on achieving.
“I don’t know of any other way than to work hard and to believe in what you’re doing,” he said. “You can’t feel sorry for yourself, that’s the only way to get out of a bad spell as a footballer, a team and a club. That’s what you’ve got to do – you have to believe in each other and trust each other. We’ve got a big weekend coming up next weekend against Hull City, who are playing on Monday.
“I’ll speak to the players and encourage them, getting them to stick together. You’ve got to go out there and play without fear and we are all keen to bounce back and respond, which we can do next Saturday.”