OLE: POSITIVES, BUT POINTS NEEDED
Ole Gunnar Solskjær was frustrated in not being able to see Cardiff City add vital Premier League points at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon, though was encouraged by the spirited and improved performance from his squad against top six chasing Spurs.
Reflecting on the loss he said, “The performance doesn’t count for much when you look at the league table after the match, but in the context of the last ten games I’m pleased with the players, as that was a team out there who worked for each other and created problems for Spurs.
“It’s always a big decision to try a new formation you’ve not used before, but we proved over the week that it would work and we caused them massive problems at times, the first half in particular. It’s a system we may well use again as we looked really exciting at times and had balance in the team.
“It was a big improvement and the team out there believed in each other and in what we are doing. My players had a good go at Tottenham and unfortunately the margins went against us.
“It was also a poor goal to concede, coming from our free-kick and a counter-attack. We set up right, but the two lads got caught on the break, possibly a few yards too high up and too spread to win the second ball, which is a crime against players like Lennon, Townsend, Soldado and Adebayor who can counter very quickly. We almost regrouped in time to prevent the goal, but it was a good finish in fairness to the lad.
“Then, moments later at the other end we hit the crossbar, illustrating the margins that are there and that go against you when you’re fighting in the bottom half of the table. It leaves you frustrated and aggrieved, but that can all turn around. For Steven’s chance, he’s scored a few goals this season and will score again. He’s immense in the box and he defended fantastically against Spurs.
“We’re not going to blame anything. We had chances to score goals ourselves, denied only by the final pass when one on one with the keeper a few times. We had a good number of attacking chances, counter-attacking in the first half – committing players in front of the ball, though we couldn’t find the final ball. A back-heel from a Spurs defender and last ditch defending prevented us from breaking through. Without that we could have taken something from the game.”
Ole also mentioned the travelling Cardiff City supporters, who again were impressive from the first to final whistle.
“Having two thousand Bluebirds signing over there at the end, you could see that they were proud of the players,” he said. “There were questions after the last result against Hull. You get a battering in terms of the score-line and performance, but against Spurs they could see it was a real team effort with passion, determination and dedication to the cause.
“We’re fully committed to the last ten games, though I can stand here talking all day long – we need points on the board. Next Saturday is a big, big game.”