Lincoln v Norwich City preview: Farke is fully focussed on being ready for the 'real deal'
Ahead of Norwich City's friendly fixture at Lincoln City this evening, David Freezer got the pre-season lowdown from Canaries head coach Daniel Farke following the opening 2-1 warm up win against King's Lynn Town.
Daniel Farke is working his squad hard ahead of tonight’s second pre-season fixture.
The Canaries travel to League Two side Lincoln City in a step up in quality from Friday’s narrow 2-1 win at King’s Lynn Town, who play at step three of non-league.
Farke stressed after that game, when under-23 players overturned a 1-0 deficit thanks to goals from Devonte Aransibia and Adam Idah, that the intense fitness work had taken its toll.
“A first win, that’s always important!” City’s head coach said with a smile. “We always knew it was going to be difficult because the lads were tired, we just travelled with a small group of first team players and you could see on the pitch there were some problems with concentration and mistakes.
“We decided to bring the young lads and compliments to Matt Gill and his young lads, you can see how important it is when you are fresh and highly motivated for the game, like our opponent was.
“So fair credit to them because for them it was the game of pre-season – or the game of the year – they were highly motivated.
“Even our lads when they came in, the opponent was a little bit tired and they wanted to present themselves well, to do this we could rest some lads and also it gives the sign that the under-23s and the young lads are not too far away.
“So I’m pleased with the development.”
Grant Hanley, Alex Tettey, Jamal Lewis and new signing Ben Marshall were among the senior players not to feature at The Walks who could see their first action at Sincil Bank tonight (7.45pm kick-off).
Farke revealed some injury issues at Lynn though, with Mario Vrancic potentially out until the end of August with a pelvis issue and Ivo Pinto set to rest a hamstring problem for another couple of weeks.
Two of the new boys are also facing delayed starts, with Emi Buendia due to join in fully during the approaching training camp in Germany having finished last season with Getafe at the start of June and Kenny McLean having played two games for Scotland during the close season.
Todd Cantwell (knee) was expected to start training this week but Louis Thompson (Achilles) is still being eased back into training. Carlton Morris (knee) will be out until later in the year and long-term injury victim Matt Jarvis (ankle) is not able to take part in full training.
“In general I got the impression for several lads they are not prepared at the moment because they arrived later in pre-season so were not involved,” Farke continued.
“Also there were some slight issues in terms of injuries so we didn’t take any risks and just chose a small group, plus young lads, and also we want to give them the sign that if you impress with your performances there is a chance for a position in the first team and some of them were really good.”
The City players even trained ahead of Friday’s game with a morning session before the Lynn game but Farke explained it had been a light session.
“There was a session but we did not cover 20 miles around a lake or whatever,” he explained.
“We’ve had double sessions nearly each and every day, in the morning doing tactical work, and as it was one of the hottest days of the year so far, I thought that some of the lads were not as concentrated as they normally are and were a bit over-tired.
“But that’s what we want, we want to bring them into situations in pre-season where they have to struggle a bit and I think that’s important.”
All of which means some U23 players are likely to be needed on the bench against the Imps again tonight, who were beaten in the League Two play-off semi-finals last season.
With a behind-closed doors friendly against Crawley to follow at Colney on Thursday, Farke intends to keep working his players hard ahead of the Championship opener at Birmingham on August 4.
“There is more hard work,” he added. “I think you could see the lads were pretty tired but that’s quite normal, that’s what we want to do, we want to prepare not for the pre-season matches but for when the real deal starts and that is the first game at Birmingham.
“In addition to that we want to try and be a bit more flexible and try a lot in pre-season, for example in the first half we tried a 3-4-3.
“You can see it’s important to have this test because not everything went right. I think it’s important for the players to have this experience because we changed a lot last season between a three-man and four-man formation in defence and we want to be even more flexible.”
• Follow full updates from tonight’s game at pinkun.com