Fulham v Norwich City preview: Dream big is Daniel Farke’s mantra

Marley Watkins hammered home a memorable Carrow Road goal against Brighton in the club's pre-season finale. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Marley Watkins hammered home a memorable Carrow Road goal against Brighton in the club's pre-season finale. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Daniel Farke may not have a magic wand but he wants Norwich City fans to dream big this season.

Ivo Pinto has been fast-tracked back into Norwich City's squad to cope with a growing injury list. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdIvo Pinto has been fast-tracked back into Norwich City's squad to cope with a growing injury list. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Canaries’ head coach made it clear during an unbeaten pre-season any success over the coming months will be hard-earned. Farke, however backs his squad to handle the weight of expectation that comes with wearing the green and yellow.

“It would be unrealistic to think it can happen straightaway,” he said. “We lost a lot of experienced players and there was a big change and we have a situation with injuries right now, but we don’t play football just to reach realistic goals. Sometimes you want to do something unrealistic and extraordinary and special. It is football, a game. We need a great togetherness to help each other. We have a pretty young team, there will be mistakes and we need that support. There will be problems and setbacks, even in the 90 minutes at Fulham, but we need that atmosphere in difficult times inside the club and especially the relationship with our fans. If we stand together and face whatever happens then we have chances to do some unrealistic things.

“It is always 11 versus 11, two goals and we try to score and not concede. For sure, away from home is more of a challenge mentally. There are many more supporters for the home team, but hopefully a lot for us. We know we have to face a Fulham opponent who is really strong and has high expectations. We know it is probably one of the most difficult games in the league but we want to bring our ideas to the pitch.”

Farke gives short shrift to the perception he and his German coaching staff are in for a Championship culture shock.

Harrison Reed is set for a key role at Fulham. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdHarrison Reed is set for a key role at Fulham. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“Not at all. It is always the same. You are concentrated on your team and on your league. It is the same when you work in a different league in Germany,” he said. “You had to get used to different teams and players and that is no different in England. First, I had to watch many games to learn about my players and then you get used to other teams because you have watched a lot. Then we had a really long pre-season, so we get used to Fulham and all the opponents. We have guys in the analysis department and we are really well prepared. We know what to expect at Fulham, what type of team they are, their strengths and maybe weaknesses. We have some problems with injuries but when we have 11 guys on the pitch we always will fight for points and give our best.”

City’s head coach is delighted at the way his players have embraced his philosophy.

“It is quite normal when pre-season is over and the hard fitness work is done that the players are content. Now the real work starts you could say,” he said. “They are excited. The mood is good. We have brilliant characters and a great atmosphere. We had good results and performances in pre-season and to be unbeaten helps.

“Norwich wanted me to bring my ideas, my philosophy and my working style here, and it is a little bit more difficult really for the players to get used to my ideas than it is for me.”

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