At last! Daniel Farke lifts Championship manager-of-the-month prize
Daniel Farke is Championship manager-of-the-month for the first time in his Norwich City reign.
The Canaries’ chief saw off competition from West Brom’s Darren Moore, Aston Villa’s Dean Smith and Rotherham United’s Paul Warne, after guiding City to top spot.
Farke’s squad picked up 10 points from four league games in November, and that achievement was recognised by the judging panel which included former Ipswich Town boss George Burley.
Prolific striker Teemu Pukki missed out to Aston Villa’s on-loan striker Tammy Abraham, after again being shortlisted for player-of-the-month.
Pukki scored five goals in four league games, which included braces in the wins at Sheffield Wednesday and the dramatic Carrow Road 4-3 comeback against Millwall.
City got December off to a winning start against Rotherham and host Bolton this weekend.
Farke’s Championship accolade is another signal sporting director Stuart Webber got the right man. The German was top of Webber’s list to embark on a bold new direction at Carrow Road following the departure of Alex Neil.
A testing debut season has laid the platform for a tilt at promotion to the Premier League.
“Daniel was always the person at the top of the list,” said Webber. “If you look at the key objectives for our club we wanted someone who would bring in a style of play that we could build the club on.
“We needed someone who had a proven track record of developing players. We had a financial hole to fill and we were not going to fill that by selling experienced players, because no one wants to buy them.
“They want younger players and up-and-coming players.
“We needed someone who was open minded, in regards to recruitment. Not someone who only wanted to sign players from one league or just have expensive British players. Fundamentally we don’t have the money to buy British experienced players.
“Daniel ticked all the boxes and we had some deeper criteria around the style of play but those were the key points.”
Webber, speaking on the Keith Andrews’ show broadcast regularly on the Off The Ball Youtube channel, admitted it has been far from plain sailing.
“We felt it would get worse before it got better,” he said.
“We sat there last summer and knew we had to be clear with the messaging, otherwise you get accused of lying. The fans stuck with us really well last year through some pretty dire performances if we are honest.
“We didn’t try to sugar coat it.
“We needed to make sure we protected the manager and not make him constantly the bearer of bad news, and protect his relationship with the players. Lots of time I have had to take the flack. That is fine.
“Anyone can deliver good news and if it protects his relationship with the players and the fans that is more important.
“We knew we would be a lot stronger this season, maybe we are performing way above expectation, and so far it seems to be working. We had to have faith the fans would keep believing. Now we have momentum and people are buying into it.”