OLE: A BIG WIN FOR TRAVELLING FANS
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took great satisfaction in giving the travelling Cardiff City supporters a victory to savour on the long trip home, having orchestrated the Bluebirds FA Cup third round win at St. James’ Park in his first game in charge.
"In the FA Cup, wherever you go, you have to go out to win the game," Ole said after the win. "It was no use our going out there against Newcastle looking for a draw, sitting back or simply defending well.
"We didn't want a draw because these lads play enough games already. We had to go for it and the lads managed to turn it around, which isn't easy to do at any Premier League ground. To come here and to do well against a strong Premier League team in Newcastle shows real character.
“For the fans too, they travelled all the way up here and it’s a long journey. The supporters who travelled were fantastic today and I’m pleased we could give them something to cheer on the way back home.”
The win didn’t come easy, with Cardiff having to come back from a goal down at Newcastle. Papiss Cisse followed up Moussa Sissoko's effort to score after an hour, while Hatem Ben Arfa struck the woodwork either side of half-time.
But City responded with great character as substitutes Craig Noone and Fraizer Campbell sent the Bluebirds into round four.
“He's a quality player with a lot of talent,” Ole said of Noone’s thunderbolt of an opener. “He's got that little jink in him, dropped his shoulder and had a shot on what was maybe his third touch. It was a fantastic strike.
"When you go out to play football you want to express yourself, which is what all of the lads did out there today. There was a period, after around half an hour where Newcastle ran the game, but they didn't really have too many chances. Ben Arfa had a shot and hit the post and then in the second half had a decent chance again. It's difficult to stop those kinds of quality players.
“But we also had chances and might have had more strikes on goal than they did. Overall I was pleased with our attitude most of all."
Next up for the new boss is a week of preparation for the Premier League visit of West Ham, having only spent one real session with the squad so far since his arrival in the Welsh Capital. The Newcastle win was Ole’s second full view in person following his watching brief at the Emirates.
The match was a chance to see more of his available players, while the next job at hand is to start applying his footballing ethos to the club.
“There were a few lads who had knocks; (Craig) Noone, Fraizer (Campbell) and Stephen (Caulker) for example, so I left them out,” he admitted. “Gary Medel and Jordon Mutch were also injured against Arsenal, so you take a look at the fit ones, you bring the skipper (Mark Hudson) back in, who did fantastic today and you pick a team to win a game. In the FA Cup you don’t want replays.
“Now I want to start to implement my ideas and philosophy and know it’s easier to get fans and players on board with that with results. It’s the only way you can go forward, while the first win is also important.
“Now we have that and it’s important to build on that, added to from the many positives from the Arsenal game. That’s what pleased me the most when I watched them, how solid the team were defensively, and how we released players forward. When they get on the ball they’re a talented bunch of lads.”