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Solskjaer: 'I will be in charge. I go into this with my eyes open'

A new manager was put in a difficult position yesterday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was presented as the new man in charge of Cardiff City and was invited almost immediately to provide a persuasive account of his relationship with owner Vincent Tan. Solskjaer might also have found it tricky to convince everybody that he is now 40 years old.

It is almost six years since the former striker retired at Manchester United - and over three years since he left Old Trafford for good - but the only evidence that time has passed came in the patches of grey in his hair. The Norwegian has remained fresh-faced during a relatively successful spell in charge of Molde in his homeland, but his latest venture in south Wales has the capacity to cause a few wrinkles. The boyish face might be aged most by a Tan.

The Cardiff owner's relationship with former manager Malky Mackay deteriorated to the extent it became a soap opera set in the Welsh capital; Mackay cast out to be replaced with new talent. Solskjaer has arrived with ideas of his own, transfer targets and a philosophy founded on experience, but that message would become lost yesterday as he was asked to address the issue of a controversial and unpopular club owner.

"I've had great chats with the owner and Mehmet [Dalman, Cardiff's chairman]," said the Norwegian, who has signed on a rolling contract and will bring former United youth and Molde coaches, Richard Hartis and Mark Dempsey, to Cardiff. "The important thing now is that we have good dialogue about how to progress the club.

"That's the key for me now, that we do communicate. Mehmet and I will be speaking very often. I'll be in charge of football matters. I go into this with my eyes open and I want the fans to be proud of us when we go on the pitch."

There had been speculation that Solskjaer had last week turned the position down, a decision which had been attributed to the advise of Sir Alex Ferguson. Having duly arrived in south Wales, the new Cardiff manager was quick to dispel that suggestion.

"I have had good contact with the gaffer [Ferguson]," he added. "He has given me some advice as he always does. I felt I needed to be back [in the Barclays Premier League] and I want to stay for the long, long term."

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