Rivalry over friendship

Uwe Rosler at Cardiff last season
Uwe Rosler at Cardiff last season

UWE Rosler admits personal friendships will have to be put on hold for 90 minutes tonight as Wigan Athletic go in search of their first win of the campaign at Cardiff.

It’s fair to say the Latics boss goes back a long way with his Cardiff counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Having been playing rivals in the colours of Manchester City and United in the 1990s, Solskjaer took over from Rosler as boss of Norwegian side Molde in 2010.

Rosler then had Solskjaer to thank for his big managerial break in England, the Norwegian recommending him to Brentford the following year.

The pair have kept in touch ever since, even more so since Solskjaer rocked up at Cardiff nearly a year ago, since when Rosler has taken Nicky Maynard on loan last January, before this summer completing the permanent signings of Andrew Taylor and Don Cowie.

Despite their relationship, Rosler insists previous ties will go out of the window once the first whistle sounds tonight with precious points up for grabs.

“Ole is a very good friend of mine, we are always speaking,” Rosler acknowledged.

“We exchange information, trying to help one another.

“Ole had it tough last year in the Premier League, and I hope he has a good time this year.

“He is a very good manager, he showed that in Norway, winning three trophies, and I think his recruitment this summer has been very good.

“Cardiff, Norwich and Fulham have been in the driving seat in terms of getting in players for certain amounts of money.

“But they have started well - which is always important no matter what level you’re at.”

Latics will be looking for a repeat of their FA Cup fifth-round victory at Cardiff last term, although they aren’t helped by it being their second long-haul away game in the space of four days after Saturday’s defeat at Charlton.

They’ll also have to contend with a City side that has started the season in impressive fashion, drawing at Blackburn on the opening weekend before a convincing win over Huddersfield.

“Cardiff have had a good start, and I think they have players who I feel will give them a good chance of getting out of the Championship,” recognised Rosler, who has seen his side pick up just one point from their opening two league games.

“We’ll have to go there and be at our best if we are to get a result.

“It’s not ideal having two long trips in such a short space of time, but it’s not an excuse.

“We have to take it as it comes and solve the problems in front of us.

“When I talk about problems I am giving my players things to think about that they should not be thinking about.

“The best thing about English football is there is always another game around the corner.

“From Sunday on we have been fully focused on Cardiff, and the preparations have been very good.”

Latics should be boosted tonight by the return of skipper Emmerson Boyce, who missed the Charlton game as a precaution.

“I said it many times last year, Boycey is a very genetically gifted - he never ages,” Rosler added.