Football

Published: Friday February 28, 2014 MYT 11:32:07 PM
Updated: Friday February 28, 2014 MYT 11:33:01 PM

Cardiff's Solskjaer promises to repay Tan's faith

LONDON (Reuters) - Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he can repay the faith shown in him by controversial owner Vincent Tan by keeping his struggling side in the Premier League this season.

In an interview with BBC Sport on Friday, Malaysian Tan gave Norwegian Solskjaer his backing to keep the Welsh club up despite Cardiff winning only once in five league games since Solskjaer took charge almost two months ago.

Cardiff, who are 19th, one place off the bottom of the standings, face a difficult task at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday with the high-flying London side's confidence boosted by their dramatic 3-1 win over Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the Europa League on Thursday.

Spurs are fifth and in the hunt for a Champions League place although they slipped to six points behind fourth-placed Liverpool after losing 1-0 at Norwich City last Sunday.

"I am not a person who wants a safe life and to have a job for 10 years or whatever - it's not how it is," Solskjaer told reporters.

"A measure of a man is not when he stands in a zone of comfort, it is when challenges and adversity are there. That is when you have to show your personality and character.

"I have to prove I am good enough and I am sure I am. I believe we can stay up, I have always believed that and I see no reason to change."

Earlier, Tan defended his position as Cardiff's owner, saying he had been unfairly portrayed as a villain by the British media who were "a little bit racist".

The 62-year-old Malaysian businessman provided the finance that paved the way for Cardiff's return to the top tier of English football for the first time in 51 years, but angered many fans by changing the teams colours from blue to red.

He then sacked popular manager Malky Mackay in December to further irk the supporters but said he would not be stepping down.

CLOSELY INVOLVED

Solskjaer said Tan was closely involved in running the club's finances but he and his staff identify the players they want to buy and sell.

"I manage the club with the resources I've got and that's what he is saying as well," he said.

"We do have a plan, we are looking forward and of course I have resources - x amount. You spend that and you don't spend x plus y.

"There is a structure, its transparent he is involved and there are no if and buts. He is willing to invest, he wants to be successful but he wants to know what we are doing.

"The football decisions are mine. We are in a results business and we need results and performances, and that's how it is."

Cardiff will welcome back Craig Bellamy after a three-match suspension and he is sure to be one of the changes in the side following the crushing 4-0 home defeat by Hull City last weekend.

Tottenham coach Tim Sherwood has no new injury concerns.

Brazil midfielder Sandro, who returned to the starting line-up on Thursday after a two-month absence, should play along with Kyle Walker who has recovered from a hip problem.

(Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Ed Osmond)

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