- Premier League
Cardiff can beat the drop, insists Solskjaer
Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take inspiration from his opposite number this weekend - Everton's Roberto Martinez - as he continues his attempt to engineer top-flight survival.
Martinez steered Wigan away from the drop in the latter stages of three successive seasons after taking over at the DW Stadium in 2009. He was unable to repeat that feat last year, as Wigan finally succumbed, but he did oversee their remarkable FA Cup triumph.
Solskjaer knows his team need to replicate some of Martinez's magic to pull out of and away from the relegation zone with just nine Premier League games remaining.
"If we can get on the same kind of run we will stay in the Premier League," Solskjaer said.
"It will take everything we have got to get where we want. That will give us the reward we all crave - playing in the Premier League. It is a vital period. We believe, we hope that we have turned a corner in terms of belief and performances. We are still in with a shout.''
Solskjaer believes the turning point for his side came after the 4-0 home loss to Hull three weeks ago. They were beaten at Tottenham in their next outing but the performance was much improved and last week they overcame fellow strugglers Fulham 3-1.
"We had a new beginning after the Hull game. We did play some good football but the scoreline was embarrassing," Solskjaer said. "We have really seen a different side of the team after that result.
"We felt we were on the right track and then that felt like a kick in the face. The last [few] weeks after that have been very good.''
Cardiff remain in the bottom three on goal difference, having played more games than most of their relegation rivals, but beating Fulham did lift them four points above the last-placed Londoners.
"The pressure is not off but a result like we had does do something to the whole club, to the team, to the players, everyone around," Solskjaer said. "It gives you a bit more belief and gives everyone a reward for the hard work we have put in.
"The psychological thing is we have moved away from them a bit. There are only positives to take from it but I don't think anyone relaxes and thinks 'that's it', because we know it isn't.''
Solskjaer feels the Fulham result has fuelled the team with the confidence that they can win at Everton, who are seventh and pushing for European qualification.
"It is a chance to get something that a week ago you might have said was impossible," Solskjaer said.
"That boost and that belief from the performances in the last two games will give us something extra. We will go to Goodison Park, a great football stadium with a great atmosphere, with the belief of getting something.''