Relegation hurts but Farke has faced tougher times at City
Daniel Farke feels those who want to label Norwich City’s Premier League tilt as a write-off this season miss the bigger picture at Carrow Road.
The Canaries will bid to end a wretched run of six consecutive league defeats on Saturday at home to West Ham, in a campaign where the baseline figures could end up as the poorest in the club’s Premier League era.
City need to win all four remaining matches just to match Norwich’s lowest top-flight points tally of the modern era. Farke again sought to apply some perspective on Friday, with relegation seemingly inevitable.
“You have to be self-critical when you finish at the bottom. You won’t hear me talking about this season as a success,” he said. “It is just a realistic view. You see how much quality and money is around in the Premier League.
“When myself and Stuart (Webber) started here we had to sell our best players just to keep the club running. Without selling James Maddison to Leicester it is doubtful whether this club even had a future.
“Let’s be honest, we have more or less the same group who got us promoted.
“But now the club is financially solid, able to invest in the infrastructure and the stadium and to invest in our players and extend contracts. The experience we all have as a club at this level should help when we come back; sooner rather than later.
“For the mid- to long-term this season is a success.
“Of course we are disappointed not to work a sporting miracle and stay above the line. But the odds were always against us. You need luck with injuries, particularly to the key players. We are not dancing on the tables to go back, but it was the right choice not to risk the future of the club.”
Perhaps to underline Farke’s point West Ham’s expensively assembled squad, under David Moyes, arrive in Norfolk still in relegation trouble.
“It is a sign of how fine the margins are, and how competitive the Premier League is,” said Farke. “David has so much experience, and when you look at the individual quality of so many top class players, you would not expect them to be in a relegation battle.
“This is the best league in the world. Everything must come together.
“It is not enough to be at 96pc or 97pc and win points at this level. They are still in a much better position than we are, but even such a big club can be involved in this battle.
“David’s experience will be important, with his leadership, but we want to make their lives as difficult as possible. The situation they are in is not down to us. We know again we are the underdog but I want us to show we are competitive.
“We want to enjoy these last few games, and that means good performances and some decent results.
“We know if we don’t win this game then we are relegated. But even to win the last four games I don’t think is enough to stay in this league. I can promise you we are highly motivated to finish as strongly as we possibly can. We want to show our responsibility for the yellow shirt.”