Solskjaer continues to tinker

Cardiff City 1 Fulham 1

Solskjaer continues to tinker

The Norwegian has now used 25 different players since arriving in South Wales and the side that beat the Cottagers on Saturday showed three changes and an alternative formation to the side beaten 1-0 by Tottenham the previous Sunday.

“You pick the personnel and the system for the team we play against,” he said. “Last weekend I thought we did fantastically with the shape against Spurs and that might happen again.

“Here I sacrificed a centre-back and went with three up top because sometimes you follow your gut feeling and I was very pleased with what we did.

“We’ve got to go to Goodison Park next weekend now with the belief we can nick something.”

One player who could get back on the pitch against Everton is the experienced Craig Bellamy, and Solskjaer explained why he missed out against Fulham.

“He has been ill all week so he hadn’t trained,” he said. “But the character of the lad; he came in on Friday and did something on the bike and felt maybe he could do 10 minutes for us with his energy, enthusiasm, drive and experience.”

Fulham boss Felix Magath made attacking changes of his own with Kostas Mitroglou handed his first start since his January arrival, but the German acknowledged the record signing was not used to scrapping for survival.

The striker, who had previously featured for just 30 minutes in a Fulham shirt, played for 90 minutes against Cardiff but struggled to make a real impact. And Magath revealed Mitroglou, who fired in 21 goals for Olympiacos this season before his departure, was experiencing a culture shock.

“Mitroglou is a player who is not used to a relegation fight,” the German said. “He comes from the best club in Greece, who was better than every other in their league, so he is only used to scoring. That is his strength.”

CARDIFF: Marshall, Da Silva, Caulker, Turner (Theophile-Catherine 90), John, Medel (Eikrem 81), Noone, Mutch, Kim, Campbell (Daehli 72), Jones.

Subs not used: Cala, Lewis, Zaha, Bellamy.

FULHAM: Stekelenburg, Riether, Heitinga, Hangeland, Richardson, Dejagah (Karagounis 50), Sidwell, Holtby, Riise (Kacaniklic 46), Mitroglou, Woodrow (Bent 76).

Subs not used: Kvist Jorgensen, Stockdale, Zverotic, Burn

Att: 26,796

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

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