Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called on his Cardiff City team to show courage ahead of their crucial relegation clash with Fulham tomorrow.
His side have a chance to halt their slow, seemingly inevitable, slide back towards the Championship but they will have to start succeeding at the basic task of football – kicking the ball into the opposing net, something Solskjaer excelled at during his playing career.
The Bluebirds have failed to score in their last seven hours of Premier League football, but fans will be expecting an end to the goal drought at Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow as opponents Fulham have the leakiest defence in the league.
Solskjaer has tinkered with his team relentlessly since taking charge, though he may have finally stumbled on an effective formation with a 5-3-2 proving solid, if not spectacular, during the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham last Sunday.
“We need to play with no fear. We need to go out there and play if if we’re going to win the league. We must be brave, take responsibility and of course, have that fight in us.”
Solidity and stability on the field would be welcome for the Bluebirds faithful as chaos continues to reign off it as a result of Vincent Tan. The Premier League are investigating reports the Malaysian offered a £3.7m bonus to his players last weekend, a violation of Premier League rules.
Meanwhile, Fulham are the only team in the league in worse shape than Cardiff, at least on the field. The Cottagers are without a win in the league since New Years Day and new boss Felix Magath has so far been able to shore up their unsure back four despite a reputation for German efficiency and tough love.
Magath, the first German manager to take charge in the Premier League and specialist escape artist, has said keeping Fulham up is the toughest test of his career.
A defeat for Cardiff would likely return to the division in which they spent nine seasons and give Magath a slim hope of surviving the test. A victory for the Bluebirds would bring hope they can at last start to soar in the Premier League.