Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he is fully committed to Cardiff City, and will not consider leaving even if they are relegated this season.
The former Manchester United striker had built up a reputation as one of the most promising young coaches in Europe during his spell at Molde, in which he won successive league titles and a domestic cup. So it was considered something of a coup when Vincent Tan persuaded him to leave his homeland and take up the reins at the Cardiff City Stadium, following the controversial dismissal of the popular Malky Mackay.
However, Solskjaer has failed to arrest the Bluebirds slide down the Premier League table, with a 2-1 reverse against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday leaving them second from bottom and three points adrift of safety. Such a position sounds bad enough, but it looks even worse when you consider the two sides above them, Crystal Palace and Sunderland, have one and three games in hand over the Welsh side respectively.
Cardiff have only won twice since Solskjaer was appointed, a 2-1 win over Norwich City in February and a 3-1 triumph against Fulham earlier this month, and the 41-year-old has described the remaining eight fixtures as cup finals. However, even if City lose their place at the top table of English football and are sent back to the Championship, their manager insists he will not walk away from a job he is determined to succeed in.
“No matter what happens I will be here for the future. I can promise to be 100 per cent loyal,” said Solskjaer. “Everybody knows that continuity is the key factor to success. Commitment, loyalty and hard work are values I believe are important. I have never worked as hard in my whole career, but I knew that when I took the job.
“I want to earn respect through the football my team plays and commitment to the club. This is a major project and I am committed to it. Right at the moment, though, my whole focus is on doing everything possible to ensure Cardiff City are still in the Premier League next season. We have big challenges ahead, but we are ready for those. Nobody at Cardiff City doubts we can keep our place in the Premier League.”
Cardiff’s task is unlikely to get any easier next weekend, when they welcome Liverpool to Wales. Brendan Rodgers’ side are full of confidence having won each of their last five matches in the Premier League, the last of which was a 3-0 triumph at rivals Manchester United. This has put the Reds well in contention to end their 24-year wait for the title, and they will doubtless expect another maximum point haul on Saturday.