Talk is cheap from City's promotion rivals

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke is ready for Reading test at Carrow Road 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke is ready for Reading test at Carrow Road Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Warm words from Norwich City's Championship promotion rivals will not distract Daniel Farke from the big prize of clinching promotion to the Premier League.

Sheffield United rival, Chris Wilder, appeared to concede the title was heading to Carrow Road in recent days when he lavished praise on Farke’s impressive work.

The City chief has enjoyed some epic tussles with his Blades’ counterpart since arriving in England, but there is plenty of mutual respect as both clubs battle to reach the Premier League.

“Chris was pretty complimentary the whole season to us. I think it is his deep belief they we have played an outstanding season, with so much consistency,” said Farke. “It is always good when a really successful and experienced manager is praising you.

“We take this, we are happy about this but like the individual rewards we are not too carried away.

“It is also a bit like in recent weeks I have heard other comments, not from Chris, but other clubs where the coaches and some players, I think it was Middlesbrough and West Brom, were trying to suggest that we feel their breath and they were trying to put pressure on us, maybe, and we handled this in a brilliant way.

“Or people saying it is a question of if, not when, to try and make us feel uncomfortable.

“We are judging things in a realistic way. It is not done. Leeds and Sheffield both have the quality to win all six games, which means we would have to win maybe four of our last matches. That is difficult with the strength of the opponent.

“We have to be switched on and concentrated. It is always nice to hear compliments but it doesn’t help us against Reading or in the following weeks.”

The relegation-threatened Royals head to Carrow Road on Wednesday, before a 5,000-strong away support trek to struggling Wigan this coming weekend. But Farke dismisses any suggestion the Canaries have a more favourable promotion run in.

“It makes the task even harder, because these teams are fighting with a knife between their teeth to survive and there is no real pressure when you face the league leaders,” he said. “That is a dangerous combination.

“No-one expects Reading to win away at the leaders. They know they are a good side. For us, to play a team near the bottom is harder than in the middle of the table.”

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