Liverpool 'shock' hardened City's resolve

Teemu Pukki scored at Liverpool but it was a tough opening night in the Premier League for Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Teemu Pukki scored at Liverpool but it was a tough opening night in the Premier League for Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City know what the Premier League is all about now as they gear up for a date with champions Manchester City.

The Canaries return to action this coming weekend against Pep Guardiola's star-studded Sky Blues after a challenging start to their top flight quest.

Daniel Farke's squad beat Newcastle but came up short against Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham, and that first half blitz at Anfield in a 4-1 opening night loss was a 'shock' admitted City's fitness guru, Chris Domogalla.

"Before the game, the players knew the topics they needed to be aware of, but you don't fully realise until you've experienced it," said Domogalla, the club's head of performance. "You are playing the best team in Europe, probably the best team in the world, along with Manchester City, at their home ground.

"We needed that game to be prepared for how it will be in the Premier League. From a performance point of view, I was really pleased that we learned the lessons and delivered a better second half.

"The players adapted and hopefully we can catch up and find our rhythm at this level now."

Norwich's lengthening injury list contains Timm Klose, Onel Hernandez, Christoph Zimmermann and Tom Trybull - quite apart from Max Aarons' scare on England Under-21 duty in midweek - to underline the physical and mental demands of Premier League life.

"In Germany, it's more tactical, so play is shifting over the field rather than teams chasing the ball," said Domogalla, in a wide-ranging interview with the Training Ground Guru site. "The Premier League has been another level up again.

"What we had already worked out from the statistics was that the number of high-intensity sprints was more in the Premier League than we had been used to during our two seasons in the Championship. This was something we clearly needed to be prepared for. As I say, you never really understand it until you've experienced it and it was a shock in those first 45 minutes against Liverpool, but we're adapting.

"We will try to do the same things, just at a higher quality and intensity.

"We will focus on our strengths and where we can hurt opponents. What we don't want is just to defend, defend, defend. The ultimate goal is to bring our approach and hurt the opponent and take their focus away."

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