Onel set for leading role in City fightback
Onel Hernandez could turn into Norwich City’s Championship talisman.
The pacy wide player was denied a goal at Manchester City by the video assistant referee in the club’s Premier League swansong, to cap what head coach Daniel Farke insisted would have been a standout return after his injury-hit season.
Hernandez suffered two knee problems that prevented him playing a leading role in the club’s failed survival bid, but Farke is keen to unleash the Cuban on the second tier.
The City boss revealed after the close season signing of Przemysław Płacheta he wanted more pace and direct thrust in wide areas, and Hernandez fits the bill at Carrow Road.
“We want him in good shape for the new season because he will definitely be a threat on the Championship level,” said Farke.
“I am pretty pleased with his development and what he brings to the team. Sometimes we criticise him that he could convert a bit more but in the final games he was our most consistent offensive player.
“Against Manchester City he was outstanding. We created many chances with him. With his power and ability he is so important. Crucial. It says a lot for what we missed when he was injured for so much of the season.
“We had really bad luck in that area. I am pleased to have him back and good he came back to the team with such confidence.”
Farke may want to re-invent how City attack the Championship, but he is pledging to remain true to his core beliefs.
The City head coach knows he is expected to get his side challenging for an immediate Premier League return.
“We have to stick to our principles, don’t lose the nerve or change the strategy just because we lost games,” he said.
“What happens if you lose your principles? I don’t want to name other clubs out of respect but you can see what happens to some clubs in League One or League Two - although the size and the potential they have might be huge.
“Our goal always has to be in the best 25 in this country.
“That means we are part of the Premier League and when we are in the Championship we are in the top five, top six and fighting for direct promotion. That must be the claim for this club.”