Newcastle v Cardiff: Escaping relegation would be a bigger miracle than winning the 1999 Champions League with Manchester United, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer is up against i tot keep the Bluebirds in the Premier League although they face a Newcastle side in woeful form on Saturday
Friday 02 May 2014
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes it would "definitely be a bigger miracle" than Manchester United's epic 1999 Champions League final triumph if Cardiff can avoid Barclays Premier League relegation.
Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham scored injury-time goals as United beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in Barcelona on one of British football's most famous nights.
The current Cardiff manager now faces the task of trying to keep his team afloat.
Currently bottom of the league, they require victories in their final two games - at Newcastle on Saturday and against Cardiff City Stadium visitors Chelsea in nine days' time - to retain any survival hope.
Even then, they still need other results to work in their favour, but Solskjaer has no intention of throwing in the towel.
"If we stay up it would definitely be a bigger miracle than Barcelona in 1999," he said.
"That night it was possible, and in football anything is possible. So we need to give ourselves a chance in front of our fans against Chelsea.
"It takes belief, togetherness, a team that goes the extra mile, and a hero stepping forward and doing something magical.
"It's still possible, it's still possible that we are out of the bottom three if we win this weekend. We have got to give ourselves something to play for in the last game by winning this game.
"One of the key points is just imagine how this place (Cardiff City Stadium) will be next weekend if we have got something to play for, when we have got something to play for.
"Let's give ourselves a chance by beating Newcastle, because this place will be absolutely rocking if we are in with a chance."
Cardiff's woefully erratic form this season suggests a quickfire Championship return is the likely outcome of a chaotic campaign on and off the pitch.
And if the Bluebirds do go down, it would be an experience Solskjaer has only felt once before in football.
"It was with my local team (in Norway)," he added. "I think I scored two thirds of our goals that season. It's the only relegation I have had.
"But you can't compare that. I was just playing for my local team. I was 21. I never thought I would play football for anything else but enjoyment.
"Here, you can see how much it means for your players, your fans, for so many more than just yourself and your little town if you play in the second or third division back home.
"Here, you have got a much bigger responsibility, and that's my job now. This is a fantastic club. We are going into this game to give ourselves a chance to stay up."
Cardiff will face a Newcastle side reeling from six successive league defeats, a sequence that has piled pressure on manager Alan Pardew and caused huge unrest among Magpies supporters.
"When clubs lose games there is always going to be noise, but Alan is doing his job and he deserves to do so, and I am doing my job to the best of my ability," Solskjaer said.
"We know we can only control ourselves. I will let Alan deal with his problems, and I will control my issues. I am not one of those who talks too much about the opposition.
"We need something special. We have to go there and defend well against the likes of (Moussa) Sissoko, (Loic) Remy and (Shola) Ameobi, but we've got to do to them what they do to us.
"It is a difficult position we are in, but it is still possible if we go and win at Newcastle. Short term, it is going to be a big tall mountain to climb. We need to win both games, and we need to have some help."
Cardiff defender Juan Cala, meanwhile, has requested a personal hearing with the Football Association after being hit by an FA misconduct charge.
Cala has been charged in relation to an alleged incident in or around the tunnel area following Cardiff's 4-0 defeat against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last Sunday.
Spanish defender Cala had earlier been sent off by referee Phil Dowd for a professional foul on Sunderland striker Connor Wickham. He will miss the Newcastle game.
"Juan would like to put his point across. He feels it is important he can do that," Solskjaer added. "He just wants a chance to explain himself."
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