Seven goals is a bit optimistic even for City chief

Kenny McLean has been a key figure in Norwich City's Premier League upturn Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Kenny McLean has been a key figure in Norwich City's Premier League upturn Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Daniel Farke is backing Norwich City to stress test Southampton's own mini Premier League revival at St Mary's.

Daniel Farke believes Southampton is in a false league positions for the quality of their squad Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdDaniel Farke believes Southampton is in a false league positions for the quality of their squad Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Both clubs have claimed four points out of six, with the Saints picking up a first home win of the campaign at Watford's expense over the weekend.

That was a timely boost for a fan base who had to endure a humiliating Premier League record-equalling 9-0 home defeat to Leicester City in October.

Farke was not promising goals in such heavy quantities on Tuesday but believes his squad is good enough to probe for any underlying frailty.

"There is probably a bit of a relief at getting the first home win, so in the beginning I expect the crowd to be very supportive," he said. "Of course if we get 7-0 up then they will go after them. With all respect to my players I don't expect them to be 7-0 up.

"It will be a close game until the end.

"Southampton's fans must realise they are in a tricky situation and it is important to be there for the players. You can moan maybe after the final whistle but during the Watford game you could feel they were trying to push the side forward.

Alex Tettey is a doubt with a muscular problem Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdAlex Tettey is a doubt with a muscular problem Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

"Hopefully we can calm the crowd with a good start but I don't expect Southampton's players to be too nervous or showing too much self-doubt.

"They have four points from the last two games and will be desperate to build some momentum, especially against a newly-promoted side. They are on the up and we are prepared for an aggressive, highly-motivated opponent; a good pressing team which is well-structured. We have to find some answers."

Farke prefers to treat that previous Foxes' league humbling in isolation.

"The mood in football can change quickly. They have top class players, without any doubt, and the claim of the club is not just to fight against relegation," he said. "They have a proper group of players to be in a better position and they know they have the potential.

"It is a difficult situation but this can happen in football. Leicester were on a pretty good run, there was an early red card and sometimes football games develop in a certain direction.

"This will be an intense game, a difficult game and we are respectful but also confident because we know when we are good in our topics we definitely have a chance."

Southampton's Nathan Redmond could face his old club at St Mary's 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdSouthampton's Nathan Redmond could face his old club at St Mary's Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

City fan Angus Gunn lost his Southampton place after that defeat but can still count on Farke's vote after a top drawer season on loan for the German at Carrow Road.

"Angus without doubt is a fantastic goalkeeper who did unbelievably well for us but the head coach made the decision to change things around a bit," he said. "They are pretty strong in that position.

"When I think about my squad there are players with claims to start who have to wait sometimes.

"When you are part of a squad on this level you have to accept sometimes that there are times when you're not going to be picked."

Farke will encounter another familiar face in the FA Cup after landing a testing third round trip to Alex Neil's Championship promotion hopefuls Preston.

"A tough one. If you were to play Liverpool or Manchester City you might say perhaps that is tougher. On the other hand, a really top class Championship side in a home game when they are highly motivated it's always a tough draw," he said, with City beaten 3-1 on their previous trip earlier this year.

Alex Neil Preston stand in the way of FA Cup progress in January Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdAlex Neil Preston stand in the way of FA Cup progress in January Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

"You might expect the Premier League side to be the favourite but it's not a big difference when you go away to a side full of confidence in the top positions in the Championship.

Thankfully it is a long time before we play this game, seven or eight games so let's worry about this game in a few weeks.

"A difficult task but I can assure you even in this game we'll be highly motivated to go into the next round."

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