History-maker Craig Bellamy is Cardiff City’s leader of the pack

Cardiff City striker Craig Bellamy made history against his former club. Picture by Tom Smith/Focus Images Ltd Cardiff City striker Craig Bellamy made history against his former club. Picture by Tom Smith/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, February 3, 2014
6:45 AM

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer wants former Canary Craig Bellamy to remain Cardiff City’s leader of the pack.

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Bellamy drew the Bluebirds level with a calm slot underneath John Ruddy to cancel out Robert Snodgrass’ opener before Kenwyne Jones rifled a winner seconds later. Solksjaer was keen to bring in the likes of exciting young prospects Wilfried Zaha and Fabio from Manchester United in the closing days of the transfer window, but his 34-year-old veteran will be key to the outcome of Cardiff’s relegation fight. Bellamy’s first Premier League goal for his hometown club also earned him a slice of history as the first man to score in the top flight for seven different teams during the modern era.

“That is a great achievement, but he’s not going to get an eighth, that’s for sure – he’ll be staying with us,” said Solskjaer. “He makes an impact with us on the training ground – he’s got standards that I was used to when I was playing where I was before – when you’re with players like Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona, they all demanded 100pc every day, and that’s exactly what he does. Craig’s a proud man and he’s proud to play for Cardiff.”

Solskjaer played down his own part in a maiden Premier League triumph since succeeding Malky Mackay following his decision to introduce Zaha to alter the flow of the game in the first half.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to make decisions and I felt it was right to put Wilf on,” he said. “He lifted the crowd, he lifted the players and maybe he frightened the Norwich defenders. He’s such an exciting talent. Going forward he’s one of the best players I’ve seen, but defensively we’ve got some work to do – but he’s a young lad, and he’s shown us already what he can do. Wilfried is exciting and he’s one of the best I’ve seen with the ball at pace.

“I was pleased with all the new lads. We brought Kenwyne in for what we saw - he’s a big target man who gives us something different. We played too much nice football in the beginning; sometimes playing a direct ball up to the frontman is the answer. Just looking at the first couple of touches Fábio had, he’s a great player.

“David (Moyes) has put trust in me as the person that’s best to take on him and Wilfried, to take them one step further and give them games.”

The Norwegian was also indebted to his keeper David Marshall’s shot-stopping prowess as he denied Norwich in a breathless finale.

“I’m not sure if nervous is the right word,” he said. “But it was a case of almost expecting them to score, as the momentum was with them at the end. We had the momentum towards the start of the second half, but they had it towards the end. Luckily we’ve got one of the best keepers in the league. David was wonderful, he kept us in the game and I think all of the players owe him a drink.

“I watched West Ham’s win over Swansea before our game and from seeing that and also Sunderland getting a good result, it felt even more important that we got the three points. We wanted a bright start, but again we started slowly - maybe I should do my half-time team talk before the game.”

Solksjaer’s side moved off the bottom of the Premier League table with victory ahead of a mammoth derby trip to Swansea City.

“When I came in I said I wanted to reach the top fifteen. That’s what we’re aiming for, and we’ve got a good chance because it’s so tight in there,” he said. “We also want to finish ahead of Swansea, so it’s a big game for us. We’re looking forward to it. It will be full of passion.”

6 comments

  • That's the difference. Their manager had the balls to make a change on 38 mins that turned the game in their favour, and ours was too petrified to do anything until minute 75.

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    Smudger75

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Totally agree with you Smudger. Cardiff scored goals in 49th and 50th minutes. CH waited until 75th minute before making changes and look at the effect it had on the last 15 minutes when we battered them. If the subs had 30 minutes or more, maybe we could have got a result. He had seen the impact that Zaha had on the game - we had our own 'Zaha' in Redmond but he only got 15 minutes. Just totally fed up with the total ineptness of CH and his crew.

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    Kent Anglian

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Agree 100% on the Redmond point, Kent Anglian. Hughton just doesn`t give the players any self-belief. In fact he clearly drains it. Is he some kind of Motivation Vampire? If so, what happens to the motivation he drains? Does he sell it on to other clubs? He and his hapless heap of honchos are like The Dementers in the Harry Potter books. For 15 months, I kept my belief that Hughton was here fror `the long haul`. That he had a vision. How wrong can you be? He`s clueless. Has the motivational skills of a pad of ether-soaked cotton wool. Norwich have become the chloro-form team.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Leader of the pack? We should send Hughton to Shangri-La to find one for us. One way ticket.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • OMG, comment intended for KA ethered. This is getting worse. Blocks to it.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Yes, spot on KA, Redmond could be `our Zaha`. Why not? But we have nobody like Kenwyne Jones. Solksjaer also has the advantage over our current manager, in that he`s alive. Get rid of Hugh Trollderwood now!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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