Writer: Whittingham's Left Peg
Date:Sunday March 30 2014
Manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has said it was almost a case of a tale of two halves in our game yesterday against West Bromwich Albion.
With both teams fighting for their Premiership lives, and both teams knowing only a win would really help them - especially us - Cardiff couldn't have had a worse start as we found ourselves two goals behind inside of the opening ten minutes.
Speaking to the Official Site following time having seen us fight back valiantly for a point in the end, the gaffer rightly bemoaned our awful start in the game but was obviously far happier with how we responded - especially the second half performance.
'There is no point arguing between ourselves. It was an exciting match and when it ends like that you can't do anything but shake hands and smile. Our dressing room was by far the happier place at the end because we came back so well and earned a point. My players showed character and belief. They travelled home having earned their reward and we are still in with a chance, we really are.'
Ole goes on to say that it's not often in football you score three goals away from home and don't come out with the win, but that has been the story of our season, whenever we do seem to be on fire in front of goal, we can't keep it tight at the back.
The frustrating thing for the manager afterwards was in the fact that he thought all three goals were good, and ultimately he didn't feel that they had that many good chances themselves, even though they edged them both on and off target, but in many ways the three best chances they had to hit the net, they did, but he felt we certainly limited them in the second half so to be hit by the third goal after working so hard to get back into it really was a sucker punch again.
'After half time we were in complete control, when West Brom score their third I thought 'that's it' but the lads have tremendous character in them. We deserved that third goal, we certainly did not deserve to lose, no chance.'
A positive for the third goal is Ole's continued faith in Mats Moller Daehli to really come good and shine at the club, and he got us what could be an all important point come the end of the season with his first goal since moving to us in January.
As for Ole says he's never been particularly known for his scoring, but he has been staying behind after training to put the extra work in to try and add that to his game, so he's really pleased he's seen his efforts pay off and now hopefully it can become a bigger part of his game so he can be an even bigger asset for us going forward.
The most important lesson to take from the game, as clearly there are some positives, is the biggest negative of all as even the gaffer has to admit that since joining the club he has never seen us start a game and be so 'pedestrian' in our play, which is probably the politest word he could muster, as he goes on to say - and I doubt it's meant to be the joke it reads - that 'we were almost spectators at times, we could have sat in the stands with the fans.'
We can't afford to start that slowly again, and Crystal Palace will be on a high following their fantastic win over Chelsea this weekend, but again it's another opportunity for three points, another opportunity to pull another club further into it and we need to make these big points count by backing the up with wins.
If we do that, we'll pull clear, if we keep losing opportunities we'll lose the league status.
With that said, we might not want to watch their goals back any time soon, but we should be showing ours on a loop at the training ground to remind the players they can do that and the sooner they do that more often then better.
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Date:Sunday March 30 2014
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Mackay Returns (Thursday November 20 2014)
Pilkington Opens Irish Account (Wednesday November 19 2014)
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Vital Preview: Cardiff v Birmingham (Friday November 7 2014)
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