Tony Pulis appears to have ruled himself out of the running to take over as Cardiff City manager after the club today formally confirmed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had left, paying the price for a series of poor results.
Although by coincidence the former Stoke City and Crystal Palace manager is in Malaysia, the home country of Cardiff’s controversial owner Vincent Tan, and was today speaking at the Berjaya Times Square hotel in Kuala Lumpur owned by Tan, he is there for TV work. And after a non-related Q&A session conducted by the television presenter Belinda Chee, she tweeted: “He told me he has never been approached by Cardiff and that he would prefer to stay in the Premier League.”
Another name touted as a contender for the vacancy, Dundee manager Paul Hartley, is also out of the running after the Scottish club was understood to have asked for £1m in compensation.
Player-coach Danny Gabbidon and academy coach Scott Young have been put in temporary charge for this weekend’s trip to Derby.
Tan’s reputation will not help the search for a permanent successor. He was involved in the controversial dismissal of Solskjaer’s predecessor Malky Mackay, while the Norwegian had been in the job for only eight and half months.
However, though the reason for the Norwegian’s decision to “step down” was officially dressed up by the club and Solskjaer as “a difference in philosophy” between manager and Tan, the typically forthright comments of the Malaysian were straight to the point: poor results.
“Ole was hired by Cardiff City on our understanding and belief that he would help us fight relegation from the Barclays Premier League,” he said. “Unfortunately, that did not happen. After the club was relegated many people advised me to let him go, but I decided to keep Ole on for the Championship season.
Video: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer becomes Cardiff manager in January
“Regrettably, our recent results do not justify Ole’s continued role as manager at Cardiff. Ole has therefore decided to step down and I have accepted this. During my short association with Ole, I have found him to be an honest and hard-working professional, but unfortunately the football results were not in his favour.”
Solskjaer’s view was: “Our difference in philosophy on how to manage the club made me decide to step aside and allow the club to move forward in the direction Vincent wants”.
However, Cardiff are 17th in the Championship table after a recent poor run culminating in Tuesday’s 1-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough, prompting Solskjaer to spend most of Wednesday in talks with club chairman, Mehmet Dalman, with input from Tan, who is now understood to be spearheading the search for a replacement.
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