OLE: THE FIRST HALF COST US
City boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær openly reflected on the performance and result following a frustrating home debut in the Cardiff City dugout against West Ham Utd.
“We wanted to win here today, but it wasn’t to be,” he said. “Statistically we had far more of the game in terms of possession and shots, but sometimes you don’t quite get what you deserve. Possession and shots also don’t count for much when you don’t score.
“The bad start we had was frustrating. The game never really got going to be a good football game because of the bad injury to Demel – and I hope he’s ok. But in the first half the energy and enthusiasm that we’ve seen, that was there in the second half, simply wasn’t out there in the opening forty five minutes.
“The first goal we conceded was disappointing also as we didn’t defend well and weren’t aggressive enough. We switched off and allowed Carlton Cole the run, which shouldn’t happen.
“Overall we weren’t positive enough in the first half, but in the second half it was the way we want to play, showing the energy and enthusiasm that I’ve seen in training during the ten days I’ve been here. That’s what I want to see more of.”
The Cardiff boss also shared his view on Kim Bo-Kyung’s shot that hit the bar and rebounded out, without a goal being awarded, a decision proven to be correct following the subsequent Hawkeye review.
In the immediate aftermath Ole said, “I haven’t seen it back just yet, but the ball probably bounced on the line, so I’ve no complaints with the goal not being given. We created a good chance there and more in the game, though not enough in the first half.
“I will need to assess why we started so slowly, but Craig Bellamy came on in the second half and made a difference. In the second half I thought we did really well, apart from putting the ball in the net, which is the most important and most difficult thing in football. Their keeper had a few good saves, we had a few decent chances and had one cleared off the line.
“In the second half we responded and played really well. We had to respond today, like we had to at Newcastle last week in the F.A Cup. Today we responded in improving, without that little bit of good fortune we perhaps deserved.”
Next in the league is a trip to the Etihad Stadium against title chasing Manchester City. And despite the task ahead given the impressive form of the home side, it’s a game the Cardiff boss is looking to with optimism.
“I know it’s not always going to be all singing, all dancing – I always expected it to be a tough challenge, but we now look forward to going to Manchester this weekend,” he said. “We’re five points from tenth and as I’ve said it before, there are two different leagues in this division. It’s so tight from ten and down, and nine and up. What we will be is competitive in that second league there.
“I’m still getting to know the boys and there’s loads of work to be done. Most of it will be done with the players we have here, they’re a great bunch of lads. We’ll get going again and they’ll get ready in training, because they’ve been so positive.”