Football

Published: Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 9:08:00 PM
Updated: Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 9:23:45 PM

Ex-United star Solskjaer named Cardiff manager

Cardiff City owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan (left) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (centre) are seen in the director’s box during the English Premier League match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London on Wednesday. — EPA

Cardiff City owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan (left) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (centre) are seen in the director’s box during the English Premier League match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London on Wednesday. — EPA

LONDON: Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as the new manager of Cardiff City, the Premier League strugglers announced on Thursday.

The 40-year-old joins from Norwegian club Molde and succeeds Malky Mackay, who was sacked on Dec 27 after his relationship with club owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan broke down.

“Cardiff City Football Club are delighted to announce that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has joined the club as first team manager,” read a statement on the Cardiff website.

“Following discussions with Tan Sri Vincent Tan and club chairman Mehmet Dalman, Ole, joining Cardiff City from Molde FK, today (Thursday) met with his new squad at the Vale training ground and will soon be unveiled to the press at Cardiff City Stadium.”

Solskjaer, who attended Cardiff’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Wednesday in the company of Tan, has signed a “rolling contract”.

Cardiff were promoted to the Premier League after a 51-year absence last season, but Solskjaer arrives to find the south Wales club one point and one place above the relegation zone.

“I feel lucky to be back in the Premier League,” said the former Norway international, who was pictured holding a Cardiff shirt on the club website.

“I had to have a talk about it with the family, obviously, but it is a great opportunity.”

Tan sparked angry protests from some Cardiff fans by sacking Mackay, having previously dismissed his head of recruitment, Iain Moody, in October.

The Malaysian also created controversy in 2012 when he forced Cardiff to change their traditional blue colours to red, but Solskjaer described reports that former United manager Alex Ferguson had warned him not to take the job as “absolute nonsense”.

“He has wished me the best and given me some good advice, as he always does,” Solskjaer added. “I had a good conversation with him.”

Solskjaer spent 11 years at United after signing from Molde in 1996, during which his boyish looks and razor-sharp instincts in front of goal earned him the nickname “The Baby-faced Assassin”.

He was renowned for coming off the bench to score vital goals, notably netting a famous injury-time winner against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final in Barcelona.

He joined United’s coaching staff after retiring in 2007 and was appointed manager of Molde three years later, leading the club to glory in the Norwegian top flight in 2011 and 2012 and last year’s Norwegian Cup. — AFP

Tags / Keywords: English Premier League, EPL, Cardiff City, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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