Solskjaer admits first game as Cardiff manager against Newcastle will be tough

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not want to rely on a good “honeymoon period” at Cardiff, and expects the going to get tough right from the outset of his management career in England when his new side travel to Newcastle for their FA Cup Third Round clash, reports BBC Sport.

The Norwegian, who spent 11 years as a player in the Premier League with Man United, believes that Newcastle have been impressive this season, and does not expect an easy time of it on Saturday afternoon.

Cardiff sit a single point above the relegation zone in the Premier League, but league form counts for little in the cup – and Solskjaer is relishing the challenge of keeping the Bluebirds in the top flight, but admits that the FA Cup could be good for a bit of confidence building following a turbulent few weeks at the club.

He said: “The Premier League is very important but when you have the FA Cup it’s the chance to build momentum. We know how close Cardiff were to lifting the trophy a few years ago.

“I’ve been to St James’ Park and played up there a few times. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, [but] we’ll go in there hoping to go through to the next round.”

Solskjaer was appointed manager at the club earlier this week, replacing Scotsman Malky Mackay who was dismissed following a very public bust up with club owner Vincent Tan.

The 40-year-old admits that it is tempting to go for an attacking style of play, but does not want to detract from Cardiff’s defensive qualities.

He continued: “There’s always a desire to play attacking football but first and foremost you need to have the foundation to be able to earn the right to play. The lads here have a great attitude, work rate, team shape’s been good.

“Now it’s about releasing, giving them confidence ‘lads have a go’; we’ll have to because we are in the Premier League.

“Of course it’s a period of transition early on but we’ve got to try to implement our ideas as quickly as possible.”

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