City chief drops a big clue on his starting line up for Cherries’ clash

PUBLISHED: 11:18 18 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:18 18 January 2020

Todd Cantwell's goal threat could be vital against Bournemouth with a tense affair in prospect at Carrow Road 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Todd Cantwell's goal threat could be vital against Bournemouth with a tense affair in prospect at Carrow Road Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Must win games are not in Daniel Farke’s Premier League vocabulary as he prepares Norwich City for Saturday’s Bournemouth basement battle.

The Norwich City head coach knows the mathematics and the perilous league position make for difficult reading. But Farke retains a belief in his players that convinces him the outcome of a Carrow Road meeting between the current bottom two is not season-defining.

"Be sure we want to win and we will do everything in order to win.

"If we don't it's not the end of the world. We won't stop playing football. We keep on going," he said. "We are not too caught up in the situation in the table.

"If I'm honest I don't feel extra pressure. We've got a home game against a decent side. We are not over-thinking what a win or a loss or a draw means. It's 11 against 11 and we want to win.

Grant Hanley is fit for duty after a late second half injury exit at Old Trafford 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdGrant Hanley is fit for duty after a late second half injury exit at Old Trafford Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

"On this level there's not one game we have to feel is must win, because we go into each game as the underdog.

"You cannot lose your nerve. You have to be brave and self-confident and find a balance between bravery and having the right structure to your play. Before the season you wouldn't have expected Bournemouth to be in this situation.

"It proves how competitive this league is and why it's the best league in the world."

Farke cited a recent Premier League example of a club surviving against escalating odds to prove his point.

Lukas Rupp is in the mix after completing his permanent move from Hoffenheim Picture: Norwich City FCLukas Rupp is in the mix after completing his permanent move from Hoffenheim Picture: Norwich City FC

"I can remember just a few years ago when Sunderland was able to beat the best teams in the league in the last few games to close a big points gap," he said. "I think in that year Norwich City was also connected to the drama.

"It proves in football everything is possible. Right now we are in a better situation that Sunderland were to work on this little miracle.

"One thing is for sure we need at least seven wins from 16 games and if we were to win all our home games that would be enough.

"I can't guarantee we win every home game, we might need one or two on the road, but to create this miracle we will need to get a lot of points at home, regardless whether the opponent is Bournemouth or Liverpool. This is our attitude."

Teemu Pukki was crowned Finland's athlete-of-the-year in recent days after a stellar 12 months for club and country 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdTeemu Pukki was crowned Finland's athlete-of-the-year in recent days after a stellar 12 months for club and country Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Which means the Carrow Road support can sense the mood and plays their part against Eddie Howe's fragile visitors.

"We need the fans in this match, without a doubt. We need our home crowd," said Farke. "It is not like we go out, eat some grass, press a button and we walk off with a win.

"There will be some tricky periods in this game and in those moments we need that backing. They were brilliant this season and I am pretty sure they will be there for us as well in this game."

The Canaries have plenty of options to cover all bases this afternoon, with Ben Godfrey, Teemu Pukki and Josip Drmic all back after injury.

Grant Hanley has been passed fit following his late exit at Manchester United following a bout of cramp and new signings Ondrej Duda and Lukas Rupp are both in the mix.

"I don't want to speculate too much about the starting line up but Ben Godfrey is so important for us," said Farke. "When he is 100pc fit it is up to me if he can play. As soon as he is ready to go he will start, and he looked decent during this week.

"The most important topic in the last days was to bring in some quality options. I didn't speak about this topic before the Manchester United game, because we didn't want any excuses.

"But it's also important for the group you have competition and in the last weeks we didn't have that."

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