Solskjaer: Blame me for plight
Published 09/05/2014 | 13:52
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the buck stops with him following Cardiff's relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
The Bluebirds' quickfire Championship return was confirmed by a 3-0 defeat against Newcastle last weekend, making Sunday's final game at home to Chelsea an irrelevance in terms of survival.
Solskjaer took over as manager in January after Cardiff chairman Vincent Tan dispensed with Malky Mackay's services, but he was unable to inspire a climb out of the bottom three, and Cardiff face Chelsea as the league's bottom team.
"I am the manager. I will take the blame," Solskjaer said.
"I didn't make the impact on the results I hoped for. I came in hoping to make a difference and we could move up the table, but it didn't happen.
"We haven't performed very well to stay up, and that's the reality. We have not been good enough.
"We have got to give the fans a good last game, and then we will look towards next season."
Keeping Cardiff's leading players - the likes of England defender Steven Caulker, midfielder Gary Medel and goalkeeper David Marshall - could prove Solskjaer's toughest challenge during the summer.
Caulker and Medal are thought to hold contractual release clauses in the event of relegation, although Marshall recently penned a new long-term deal with the Bluebirds. Solskjaer would not comment on any contract situations in his final pre-match press conference of the season on Friday.
"There will be changes," Solskjaer added.
"I will do my best to keep hold of the most important players. That job has already started.
"The ones who will be here will have to have the character, as in that league (Championship) you cannot turn up and just go through the motions.
"You have to come back with a hunger to do well, but the majority of the squad here has that experience of the Championship."
Solskjaer revealed he had spoken with Tan in the wake of events last weekend. There are no indications that the Norwegian will not still be in charge, come the start of next season.
"I have got no other signals than planning for next season," Solskjaer said. "The key is to start the season well.
"You have to learn from your mistakes as a player and coach. I am a better manager now than when I came here. We came into the unknown this season, and the majority of the players didn't know much about the Premier League.
"The experience of playing in the Premier League will give everyone a taste.
"Everyone wants to be back there next year, but it is not going to be easy. The Championship is a very tough league, and you have to be right, mentally.
"The longer you go before you manage to bounce back, the more difficult it proves to be.
"The whole club is disappointed, but there is only one thing to do and that is come back stronger.
"We were very low and disappointed, but we have to go out on Sunday and give ourselves a good last game.
"It's been four months' hard work. We have enjoyed it, but the results haven't been what we wanted.
"There are loads of things I have learnt, and there are things I would have done different, but that is hindsight.
"Nobody wants to end up last (in the Premier League). There is that pride of your own performance on Sunday, but also to show the fans your appreciation of them."