How City chief got the reaction he wanted from Buendia

PUBLISHED: 09:53 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:53 11 December 2019

Emi Buendia was back in the starting line for Norwich City agaisnt Sheffield United Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Emi Buendia was back in the starting line for Norwich City agaisnt Sheffield United Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Emi Buendia has proved to Daniel Farke how much he wants his crown back at Norwich City.

The Argentine was dropped for three Premier League games but returned to the starting line up for the 2-1 weekend home defeat to Sheffield United.

Buendia looked in the mood, along with the rest of his team mates, in the first half at Carrow Road before the wheels came off. But Farke feels that can only bode well for the future after the 22-year-old's top flight growing pains.

The attacking midfielder was a star of City's Championship title-winning season but paid a heavy price for some high profile errors in the big time.

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Todd Cantwell surprisingly made way to accommodate Buendia, and the City head coach was keen to give the England Under-21 international a breather.

"We had the thought Emi gave us a good reaction on the training pitch to being left out, and he was back to his sharpest," said Farke. "Todd was brilliant in the last games but I thought at Southampton he looked a bit tired and we also have to keep in mind even for a young lad praised so much it is a lot of load to carry. Todd plays with a lot of passion and nearly covers 12 kilometres a game. We felt it made sense to give Emi a chance.

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"He did alright to be honest and we thought to bring Todd into the game when Sheffield were a bit more exhausted. He had this big chance and the keeper made a brilliant save. For us, as a newly promoted side we have to invest a lot in terms of workload and the mental load in each game. I don't think it is healthy for us to make seven or eight changes, but we needed to make some for a third game in seven days."

Farke must pick his side up for a daunting trip to Leicester City.

"It was a hard knock, a sucker punch," he said. "We knew it was a huge game and a huge opportunity for us. The lads are human beings not robots. That is why it was hard to respond immediately when we conceded two goals but we have to go on. We had a chance to create some momentum then through our mistakes we didn't. You can't blame anyone else, not Sheffield United, who played to their strengths. It is actually better they feel devastated for a little while because it shows at this level you always have to be switched on. A tough lesson but something we have to learn."

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