Daniel Farke reveals his Christmas wish for Norwich City

Ben Godfrey has grabbed his chance at centre back Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ben Godfrey has grabbed his chance at centre back Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

The ghosts of Christmas past do not haunt Daniel Farke's Canaries

City host Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day firmly in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League. That is a world away from a tense away win at Birmingham on the same day 12 months ago, which eased genuine fears of being sucked into a relegation battle.

Farke insists there is little time to reflect over such startling progress in a crucial festive period.

“Perhaps after January 1 there will be an FA Cup weekend and then a chance to take a breath and analyse where we are in the league. But not at this point. There is no time to rest. We have to work further on,” he said.

“Even at the beginning of this season we were not looking too far ahead. It was about performances and from that come results.

“As a head coach you have to learn lessons, analyse the best out of each period.

“We can’t compare now with last Christmas. Then we had to win several points to make sure we were not involved in the relegation battle and there was also a situation with the rumours about Alex Pritchard leaving.

“Now we are near the top position in the league, full of self-confidence. You keep those past experiences to help handle the workload but this is different.”

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Ben Godfrey is the latest fresh talent to grab his first team chance at centre back during the past few games, and the form of City’s youngsters has meant Farke is willing to resist the temptation to tinker.

“It is important to be careful with the players and to rotate, but perhaps not so much as last season because we want to keep the starting line up settled,” he said. “I am totally pleased but I had no doubts in Ben. Before the season, in pre-season, I felt Ben could be outstanding in the central defensive role.

“He has delivered now, although he had to wait a bit for his chance.

“In the last games (before Blackburn) we had conceded a few goals but I wouldn’t blame him for any of the goals.

“Now we have seven points out of these three games where Ben has played.

“It was not easy to control (Bradley) Dack and (Danny) Graham who have been on fire in recent games but I thought Ben and Christoph (Zimmermann) did that. I am also looking forward to having Timm Klose and Grant Hanley back in a good rhythm.”

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