Farke responds to Leitner rift rumours

PUBLISHED: 16:57 07 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:15 08 December 2019

Moritz Leitner has to fight his way back in Norwich City's Premier League plans 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Moritz Leitner has to fight his way back in Norwich City's Premier League plans Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Daniel Farke has not had a major fallout with Norwich City midfielder Moritz Leitner.

The German ace has not featured in the last four matchday squads since an unused substitute appearance at Brighton on November 2.

That prompted some fans to hint on social media Leitner is in Farke's bad books, but the head coach is keen to put the record straight.

"No, absolutely not. Moritz is so professional. There has been no fallout or a problem in the dressing room," he said. "It is a tough decision I have to make. He, in his own way, can be a genius.

"He is a player who with his technical ability can control a game. In that regard he is outstanding but I had the feeling we needed some different type of players in these recent games.

"It is always harsh to leave a player out with his quality but sometimes you have to make a decision for the 18 between perhaps him or Mario (Vrancic). In many topics they are quite similar, both good in possession, but maybe you would say Mario is more physical without the ball.

"You can't switch between them from week to week so I accept right now it is a tough period for Moritz but it is up to him to impress on the training pitch and then when his chance comes again he grabs it."

Vrancic has taken Leitner's place in City's recent matchday squads but Farke opted to introduce Alex Tettey and Marco Stiepermann in a double half-time change during the midweek 2-1 defeat at Southampton.

"I am always tempted to get Mario on the pitch because he has the quality to also be a genius for us," said Farke. "Sadly he was injured for a long time and it is difficult on this level to throw him in immediately.

"This is such an intense level, but Mario is always a topic. He has been back in team training now for a few weeks and he is another who has every chance to try and impress on the training pitch.

"To be really honest it is unbelievably competitive in that central area and some tough decisions. Ibrahim (Amadou) and Tom (Trybull) came off and I wouldn't say it was down to poor performances on their behalf.

"They have a great attitude and work ethic but our general approach had to change in tactical terms; we needed different type of players on the pitch, and in midfield we have options."

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