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Cardiff V Norwich at Cardiff City Stadium : Match Preview

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31 Jan 2014 17:31:00

Cardiff V Norwich at Cardiff City Stadium : Match Preview

Cardiff V Norwich - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Solskjaer wants new boys to impress

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his trio of high-profile signings there will be no time for a honeymoon period at Cardiff.


Wilfried Zaha completed his loan switch from Manchester United on Friday, while Fabio had made his move from Old Trafford earlier in the week.


Kenwyne Jones has also arrived at the Cardiff City Stadium, as part of an exchange deal that saw Peter Odemwingie head to Stoke.


The trio are set to make their debuts in Saturday's clash with Norwich, a match the Bluebirds can hardly afford to lose as they sit bottom of the Premier League table.


Solskjaer is positive about his new recruits but admits a run of seven league games without a win means his new men have to deliver from the off.


He said: "There is no honeymoon period when you come into the thick of it. We expect them and want them to perform straight away.


"The players I have got in all give us something different and something that can make a difference, a presence in the box and enthusiasm. Together they complement my squad.


"We have really had a tough month but I have seen some great development in the month. We played some very nice football at Manchester United and the new boys might have been what we were lacking."


Solskjaer had particular praise for Zaha.


The 21-year-old joined United from Crystal Palace but made just four appearances under David Moyes this season.


But Solskjaer does not feel the wide man's struggles at Old Trafford mean he has to prove himself at Cardiff.


"He has pace, power, technical ability and goes past people. He will give us that extra change of tempo in the final third, where we really need it," he said.


"He will bring that little final bit to find pockets of space and produce a bit of magic.


"I don't think he has something to prove, he wants to play.'


"He played a few games at United, but maybe not what he hoped for when he went there.


"He wants to play, to play with confidence and keep Cardiff in the Premier League."


Club captain Mark Hudson is ruled out by a hamstring problem but Jordon Mutch and Kevin Theophile-Catherine look set to be fit enough to play some part.


Norwich midfielder Bradley Johnson is free to play after his red card in the midweek goalless draw with Newcastle was rescinded on appeal to the Football Association.


On-loan midfielder Jonas Gutierrez is available having been ineligible to face his parent club on Tuesday night. Defender Joseph Yobo has signed until the end of the season from Turkish club Fenerbahce, but the move remains subject to international clearance and paperwork.


Centre-back Michael Turner (hamstring) and midfielder Jonny Howson (back) are still sidelined, while winger Elliott Bennett also continues his rehabilitation following a serious knee injury.


Norwich manager Chris Hughton remains convinced striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel has what it takes to cut it in the Barclays Premier League despite a frustrating first half of the season.


The club-record B#8millon signing from Sporting Lisbon has managed just one goal, back on the opening day of the campaign, and seen his progress hampered by a niggling toe injury.


Nevertheless, Dutch international van Wolfswinkel continues to work hard in the Norwich attack alongside Gary Hooper, if without many rewards, yet has been linked with a loan switch back to Holland at PSV Eindhoven.


Hughton, though, is confident the 25-year-old can grow into a player capable of delivering on a regular basis as the Canaries look to stay clear of the battle for survival.


"If people think he is homesick or has not settled, you could not be further from the truth," said Hughton.


"There is no doubt Ricky would not have got the goals he would have liked to, but what he has given the team is a whole-hearted work ethic.


"Ricky enjoys training. He is a very good personality to have around and is delighted to be here.


"He wouldn't be the first person who has taken a while to get into his stride.


"It is frustrating for him because he somebody who is used to scoring goals.


"It becomes a question of confidence and once he gets the first the others will come quickly."


Hughton added: "Ricky is someone we signed on a long term deal in the summer and he is an integral part here."



PA

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