BIG MATCH PREVIEW: All good things come to those who wait
Daniel Farke is warning Norwich City’s support not to expect another QPR-style walkover against Reading.
The Championship leaders cruised to a 4-0 weekend league win, but take two at Carrow Road on Wednesday will be a tougher assignment.
Emi Buendia’s three-match suspension increases the degree of difficulty, as City look to respond to a 2-0 away win for promotion rivals Leeds at Preston on Tuesday night, which cut their lead to five points at kick-off.
“From the first second (against QPR) it all went in our direction,” said Farke. “We were 2-0 up after 13 minutes and it was more or less a comfortable win.
“We scored four, kept a clean sheet, then we had a relaxed Saturday afternoon where some results went in our direction. Sunday, a relaxed recovery session, day off Monday, and then we train with the sun shining and other clubs saying nice things about us.
“QPR was one of our most comfortable wins this season. We have never covered such a low distance, in terms of the workload of the players.
“Tom Trbyull was the only one who covered maybe more than 10 kilometres.
“We have to make sure we don’t think this will be easy, because that is only human nature. In terms of how we press and find solutions to their build up this game will be much more complicated.
“Reading is a better side in possession than QPR. A bit like Swansea perhaps, where the opponent also had spells when they dominated the ball. We can’t be annoyed if it is not as easy as QPR. That is the same for the fans as much as the players.”
Farke must make one enforced change following Buendia’s red card against QPR for a two-footed lunge on Josh Scowen.
“This season I have had to substitute Emi three times, because of getting injured after a foul,” he said. “He is the most fouled player in this league. On each occasion there was an intention to foul him out of a game and it was not judged with a card.
“For him to now miss something like six matches through injury or suspension is too much. He made a mistake, he should be punished but not finishing a game is punishment. Being labelled naïve is a punishment. The team was punished, because we had to play 20 minutes with 10 men. To play the last three games without him is harsh on him and us. If you love football, you have to love him.
“The punishment has to be balanced and fair. If I make a mistake in my car and you are caught speeding then you must be punished. You have to pay the fine or maybe go on a speed awareness course. But it is not that you are sent for three years to Guantánamo Bay. Yes, punish him but he is a 22-year-old in a crucial period of his career.
“If you play for Manchester City or Liverpool perhaps then five or six times you are fighting for a title but when you play for a normal club it happens maybe once or twice in your career.”