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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Wenger backing for Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has all the ingredients to keep Cardiff in the Premier League, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Last Updated: 02/01/14 at 13:20 Post Comment

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) with Vincent Tan at the Emirates

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) with Vincent Tan at the Emirates

Former Manchester United forward Solskjaer travelled to London on New Year's Day as talks stepped up over him replacing the sacked Malky Mackay.

Cardiff were beaten 2-0 by a late brace from the Premier League leaders and Wenger saw no reason why Solskjaer cannot make a success of what would be a first major managerial role.

"I have seen him before the game, and they played like they knew he was in the stand," said Wenger.

"Cardiff has the basic ingredients to survive in the Premier League. You would say if you look at their record they need to add a bit more goals offensively to stay in the league.

"If he (Solskjaer) can find that in the final third something clinical like he was, then they will stay in the league because they have the basic quality to do it."

Wenger continued: "It is a chance (for Solskjaer). Basically what you want when you are young is a chance and after you have to make the maximum of that chance.

"He has already experience as a manager in Norway, so he has learned his job.

"He was an intelligent player, so he is an intelligent boy as well, and that will help him to be successful."

Solskjaer has enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Molde, guiding them to two Norwegian titles and a Norwegian Cup.

However, earlier this week it had been suggested Solskjaer had reservations about taking the Cardiff job following owner Tan's numerous disputes with Mackay.

Nevertheless, Dalman remained confident he could convince the Norwegian to take over at Cardiff with the promise of money to spend and reassurances over the working structure at the club.

Tan had not been scheduled to attend the game but flew into London especially to try to push through the deal.

Although the game at the Emirates Stadium could well prove to be the last in charge for caretaker boss David Kerslake - who was assistant to Mackay - and first-team coach Joe McBride, it will remain very much "business as usual" within the backroom staff until any changes are confirmed.

Kerslake said: "Although Joe and myself and the rest of the staff know it is only temporary, the last thing I said to the players that they made me feel immensely proud of the performance they put in.

"I am really unsure whether they knew or not (that Solskjaer was at the stadium).

"There was no talk of it on the team bus and the hotel and in the dressing-room."

Kerslake added: "Whoever comes in, obviously there is an important month coming up, so if he can add to it, make the squad better, then all well and good, but I believe the team are good enough to stay in the Premier League."

There have been no indications as to whether any of Mackay's former backroom staff would be kept on once a new manager has been appointed.

"No, (I have heard) nothing at all," said Kerslake. "I am contracted to the club until the owner or chairman tell me different. I will be in work tomorrow as usual."

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