'It was sometimes really tough for Todd to wait' – Canaries boss pleased with Cantwell's return

PUBLISHED: 18:39 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:39 11 April 2019

Todd Cantwell went close to a volleyed equaliser for Norwich City late in the first half during the 2-2 draw with Reading at Carrow Road Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Todd Cantwell went close to a volleyed equaliser for Norwich City late in the first half during the 2-2 draw with Reading at Carrow Road Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Todd Cantwell may not have been able to unpick the Reading defence but Daniel Farke was pleased with the midfielder’s display during his Norwich City return.

The academy product came in as Emi Buendia began his three-game ban and came off in the 70th minute with City trailing 1-0, with striker Jordan Rhodes coming on as Farke changed to a more attacking formation.

While that change nearly worked as City roared into a late 2-1 lead, only to concede an equaliser, the 21-year-old’s head coach was still happy with his efforts in a first start since mid-January.

“I was pleased with him,” Farke said. “If we’re honest it was sometimes really tough for Todd to wait that long because when you analyse the games-to-points average of each player in the starting line-up, Todd is really in a top position in our squad.

“There were not so many reasons to leave him out in the recent weeks. It was due to unbelievable form and shape of Emi Buendia, without any doubt, and also Onel Hernandez, so more like his competitors on the wings. He was crucial in many games.

“It’s quite normal that when you come in after a few weeks not being involved in the starting line-up it’s not like you can save the world. It’s not like I was there expecting him to have five goals or six assists!

PLAYER WATCH: Plenty of effort but Cantwell couldn’t quite take his City chance in Buendia’s absence

“For me it was important that he was there really focused on the team and not concentrated to do something magic or whatever, but to do something for the team.

“I think his workload was pretty good, he started pretty well, he was there pretty fuelled in this game with lots of movement and also brave enough to want to have the ball and was always under pressure. He helped us a lot, with him we were able to dominate 74 percent of possession.”

TEAM NEWS: Farke in ‘much better mood’ for City’s trip to Wigan after reflecting on emotional Reading draw

Farke now has to decide whether to stick with Cantwell or look at another option, with Mario Vrancic and Moritz Leitner pushing for involvement at Wigan on Sunday – with the youngster going close to an equaliser with a volley which flew just over the crossbar late in the first half.

City’s boss added: “There would have been even more spotlight on him if he had been able to use one of his two chances, I think the best one in the first half, he had a good position to strike, sadly he was pretty close over the crossbar.

“But in general, especially after being in the starting line-up for the first time for a while, it was a good performance, I was pleased.”

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