Stakes so high, admits Solskjaer ahead of Sunderland-Cardiff showdown

Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
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OLE Gunnar Solksjaer says he is not nervous about Cardiff City’s high-noon shoot-out against Sunderland tomorrow.

But the Bluebirds boss acknowledges the stakes could hardly be higher in what is likely to be one of the defining fixtures in this season’s Premier League relegation battle.

“I wouldn’t be in football if I was nervous,” said the Norwegian. “You have to look forward to games.

“I used to do that as a player, and I do that now – the waiting time is the worst.

“At the moment, it is just about the Sunderland game for us.

“We go into it focused, and we have prepared really well

“I can’t wait.

“If you look at the league table, it’s just as big for both of us.

“It is still so tight down at the bottom that a win will be hugely needed for both us, while a draw is probably no good for either of us.”

At various stages of the campaign, both clubs have looked down and out.

Less than a fortnight ago, Sunderland were seven points adrift of safety but have pulled themselves back into contention with a draw against Manchester City and a victory over Chelsea.

Cardiff, meanwhile, looked to have gonee when they slumped to a 3-0 home defeat against Crystal Palace just three weeks ago.

But victory at Southampton and a point against in-form Stoke have revived their hopes.

Solskjaer said: “I think the last few weeks have boosted all the players.

“The last two games, definitely, have given us a boost.

“We are going into this game in good form, which is a big thing.

“We are away from home, but we went away to Southampton and beat them.

“So we go there with belief that we can get something.

“It’s about us going up there and performing, sticking together as we did against Southampton and Stoke, and continuing what we have done this week.

“There are three games to go now, and we are within two points of Norwich.

“We have got a chance but you do think that a win is what you need.

“A draw would not be favourable for either of us.

“Fulham and Norwich would probably be happy with a draw.

“In a normal season, one team would be adrift, but it is such a different league this year.

“It is so tight at the top, so tight at the bottom, so you expected it to go to the last game.

“It’s being built up, and it is a massive game.

“For us, we don’t go into a game worrying about what everyone else thinks.

“We prepare for a game the way we think it is going to pan out, and then do our job.”

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