Solskjaer urges Bellamy to stay at Cardiff

The former Liverpool forward retired from international duty in October and is expected to make a decision on his club career, and the Norwegian wants him to continue
Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called on Craig Bellamy to continue playing beyond the end of this 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.

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But new boss Solskjaer is hoping the forward 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," Solskjaer told reporters. "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."

Solskjaer is focusing on a bottom-half mini league ahead of his first Premier League match as a manager, but insists it is not yet time to panic despite sitting just one point clear of the relegation zone and three ahead of the Hammers.

"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 after he completed his move this week, 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, who both share the same agent as Eikrem, 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."