Cardiff boss Solskjaer urges Bellamy to play on

Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called on Craig Bellamy to prolong his career beyond the end of the 2013/14 season.

The Welsh striker, 34, retired from international football in October and is yet to make a decision over his future at his hometown club.

But new boss Solskjaer is hoping the journeyman striker decides to stay on at the Cardiff City Stadium having returned from a knee injury ahead of the club's clash with West Ham on Saturday.

"Craig's been training with us for a week and he's looking really sharp," said Solskjaer. "He'll be involved and in the squad.

"We've spoken together and I gave him my thoughts: play as long as you can if you feel you can justify your performances.

"It's my job now to get him performing and back on the pitch, hopefully I'll motivate him and inspire him to prolong his career."

Ahead of his first Premier League match as a manager, Solskjaer is focusing on Cardiff's involvement in a bottom-half mini league, but insists it is not yet time to panic about his side's proximity to the relegation zone, sitting one point and one place clear of danger.

West Ham, in comparison, are second bottom, three points adrift of Cardiff. 

"There is a league in itself from 10 and down and when you meet opposition in that category, they are important games," he continued.

"It's never a must-win game at this part of the season. Performances first and foremost - you can't think consequences all the time."

Solskjaer will have new signing Magnus Wolff Eikrem available for selection at the weekend. And the midfielder revealed he did not have to think too hard about making the switch from Heerenveen.

"It was an easy decision for me," he said. "I heard Heerenveen got an offer for me from Cardiff and it was a no-brainer really. I went as fast as I could."

Cardiff have been linked with a number of other players in the January transfer window, including Mats Daehli and Mame Biram Diouf, but Solskjaer refused to elaborate on the speculation.

"Out of respect to other clubs I don't think I can speak too much about them," he stressed. "There are other names as well. We'll announce something if something happens."


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