Can Daniel Farke replicate his superb 22-match unbeaten start at Borussia Dortmund II with Norwich City?
The opening day of the season has rarely been enjoyable for Norwich City in recent years but new head coach Daniel Farke knows how to start a campaign strongly.
The German led Borussia Dortmund II on a 22-match unbeaten run at the start of last season, conceding just 14 goals in the process to well and truly hitting the ground running in Regionalliga West.
Farke will begin his Canaries reign with a trip to Craven Cottage on the opening day of the Championship campaign ahead of three successive matches at Carrow Road.
That trip to west London immediately drew groans from fans when the fixtures were released yesterday as City have not won at Fulham in over 31 years – losing eight of their last 10 attempts.
If the 40-year-old can lead the Canaries’ rejuvenated side to victory over the Cottagers it would be an ideal start to his time in Norfolk.
Norwich City Championship fixtures 2017-18: Canaries start with trip to Fulham
Oddly, Farke is set to become the third of Norwich’s last four bosses to start their time in charge at Craven Cottage. He will hope to fare better than Chris Hughton’s 5-0 shocker on the opening day of the 2012-13 season and Neil Adams’ first game ending in a 1-0 defeat as he began his ill-fated attempts to avoid top-flight relegation in 2014.
If he can end that hex then the chance of a strong start really opens up, with League Two side Swindon to follow at Carrow Road in the first round of the Carabao Cup three days later and home league games against crisis club Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers.
Farke won five of his first six league games in Germany’s fourth tier last year, as he and assistant Eddie Riemer led Dortmund’s under-23s to a superb start to the season.
That concluded with a second-place finish, losing just three along the way and conceding only 25 goals in 34 games. The duo have since signed their Dortmund captain, towering centre-back Christoph Zimmermann, up for the adventure on a free transfer after his contract expired.
Canaries sporting director Stuart Webber is now banking on that coaching team’s success transferring to the English second tier – starting at Craven Cottage on Saturday, August 5.
• Pick up your special fixtures supplement, including a poster of City’s full fixture list, inside today’s Eastern Daily Press or Norwich Evening News