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Swansea and Cardiff face tricky opening fixtures

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking to guide Cardiff to an immediate return to the Premier League Credit: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport

Swansea and Cardiff begin the new season with tricky opening day away fixtures to Man United and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

Garry Monk begins his first full season as official Head Coach of the Swans by taking on the side he knocked out of the FA Cup last year - although United will be looking for a more positive start under the guidance of Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal.

Cardiff start life back in the Championship against a Blackburn Rovers side who narrowly missed out on the play offs. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping new signings will help the Bluebirds to an immediate return to the top flight.

Newport meanwhile will start their second season in League football with a home tie against Wycombe.

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Cardiff City sign Guido Burgstaller

Cardiff City have competed a deal to bring Austrian midfielder Guido Burgstaller to the City Stadium for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old becomes the second of manager Ole Gunnar Solskajer's summer signings following completion of a deal for Spanish forward Javi Guerra earlier this week.

Burgstaller in a World Cup qualifying game Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Archive

Austrian international Burgstaller has signed a three-year-deal with Cardiff from Austrian side Rapid Vienna after helping the Austrian Bundesliga side to second place in the table last season scoring 12 goals in 35 appearances.

Commenting on the deal Burgstaller said: “My decision to join Cardiff City was never in question when the club first contacted me, it has always been a dream for me to play in this country.

“I’ve followed Cardiff in the Premier League last season and I’m very proud and honoured to be given the chance to wear the Cardiff City jersey. I’m a big admirer of the passion of the fans here.”

Craig Bellamy announces retirement from football

Cardiff City and Wales star Craig Bellamy has announced his retirement as a player.

Bellamy won 78 caps for Wales Credit: PA

He told Wales Online: "My body couldn’t take it any more"

“I guess over the years I’ve become accustomed to the pain from various injuries, but for the last three to four years I’ve been on anti-inflammatories every day."

Bellamy said he considered his appearance at home against Chelsea two weeks ago to be "a fitting way to bow out".

Cardiff City sign Spanish striker Javi Guerra

Cardiff City have completed the signing of Spanish striker Javi Guerra on a three-year deal.

He will join up with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad on 1 July, having completed a medical with the Bluebirds.

The 32-year-old joins the club having agreed pre-contract terms from La Liga side Real Valladolid, where he scored a total of 72 goals in 149 appearances, including 15 last season in the top flight.

Cardiff City are hoping Javi Guerra will help fire them back into the Premier League. Credit: Cardiff City FC

“I am very thankful for the warm welcome I have received here at Cardiff City and am very excited for my new challenge in Wales." Guerra said.

“Hopefully I can keep up the level that I have been playing at in Spain for the last few seasons and that it will be a successful time for me in Cardiff, with both the club and the supporters.”

Guerra started his career with Espanyol before moving to Valencia where he managed just two senior appearances.

Spells at fellow Spanish sides Granada, Mallorca, Alaves and Levante then followed before moving to Valladolid in 2010, helping them to promotion to La Liga the following season.

Cardiff 1-2 Chelsea (FT)

Cardiff hopes of a final victory in the Premier Leagues were dashed by two Chelsea goals in three minutes. Final score Cardiff 1-2 Chelsea.

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The lads end with a lap of appreciation around the CCS pitch. Thank you all for your loyal and continued support. See you in 2014-15!

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Offer of return to blue 'welcomed' by supporters' trust

Tim Hartley, chairman of Cardiff City Supporters' Trust said Vincent Tan's offer of reverting the team colours to blue was welcome, but said it should be done now rather than on the proviso of returning to the Premier League.

It is good to hear that Mr Tan is committed to Cardiff City and that he recognises that there is a need to build bridges with supporters.

His offer of a return to blue if Cardiff City return to the Premier League is welcome, but there is no reason why he cannot do that now.

It took Leicester 10 years to return to the Premier League and most fans would prefer an immediate return to our traditional playing colours. It would be in the club and Mr Tan's interest to do so.

– Tim Hartley, Cardiff City Supporters' Trust

Cardiff City owner 'considering' colour change

Vincent Tan says he will consider changing Cardiff City back to blue if they can get back into the Premier League next season Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan is considering changing the team colours back to blue. The Malaysian businessman has said that if the Bluebirds win promotion back into the Premier League from the Championship next season.

Read more on this story on ITV Sport.

Solskjaer takes relegation 'blame' ahead of last game

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as Cardiff City manager in January Credit: PA

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the buck stops with him following Cardiff's relegation from the Premier League.

The Bluebirds' return to the Championship was confirmed by a 3-0 defeat against Newcastle last weekend, making today's final game at home to Chelsea an irrelevance in terms of survival.

Solskjaer took over as manager in January after Cardiff chairman Vincent Tan dispensed with Malky Mackay's services, but he was unable to inspire a climb out of the bottom three, and Cardiff face Chelsea as the league's bottom team.

"I am the manager. I will take the blame," Solskjaer said.

"I didn't make the impact on the results I hoped for. I came in hoping to make a difference and we could move up the table, but it didn't happen.

"We haven't performed very well to stay up, and that's the reality. We have not been good enough.

"We have got to give the fans a good last game, and then we will look towards next season."

Solskjaer revealed he had spoken with Tan in the wake of events last weekend. There are no indications that the Norwegian will not still be in charge, come the start of next season.

"I have got no other signals than planning for next season," Solskjaer said. "The key is to start the season well.

"You have to learn from your mistakes as a player and coach. I am a better manager now than when I came here. We came into the unknown this season, and the majority of the players didn't know much about the Premier League."

Cardiff will be without Juan Cala for today's visit from Chelsea after the defender was handed a three-match suspension.

The Spaniard was sent off in the Bluebirds' 4-0 defeat at Sunderland last month for denying Connor Wickham a goalscoring opportunity, but this punishment related to his conduct as he left the field and made his way to the players' tunnel.

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