'We are all part of the team' - Mario hails Farke for keeping his Norwich City group together
Mario Vrancic knows all about the waiting game at Norwich City - but believes Daniel Farke is the key to keeping his whole group onside.
The Bosnian international made 35 Championship appearances last season, including six appearances from the bench – while Saturday’s win over Rotherham was only Vrancic’s second league start of the current campaign; 11 of his 13 outings have come from the bench.
And Vrancic isn’t the only one. Despite Farke having what feels like a bigger squad to play with, he has made fewer than half the changes to his starting XI in this season’s opening 20 games than last term.
Every professional footballer understands the realities of the squad game – but for Vrancic, the way Farke has managed the situation counts for a lot.
“That’s exactly what the boss did – he has found all his players and it doesn’t matter if they’re playing or not, they still feel part of the team which is good character from all the players,” said Vrancic.
“He will tell us unfortunately he can only play 11 on the pitch and if you’re not playing, you have to use the minutes you get. All of us, even those not in the squad, we are all part of the team and they are helping us to win games.
“Every player likes to play every minute and you have this kind of motivation that the team is successful at the moment, and you’re part of it, which is pretty good.
“Everyone wants to be part of it. It depends on how many minutes and how big your contribution is, and obviously in recent games for me it was just a few minutes.
“But I’m professional. I’m trying to convince the boss to get more minutes and I believe in myself.
“It’s football, we are used to it and you have to cope with it if you’re not part of the first XI and you just keep going. There is a big competition for every position and it’s good for the whole team to deliver and get victories. That’s all I can say.”
For the first time, Vrancic was tasked with stepping into the sizeable shoes of Moritz Leitner – a situation that now seems likely to continue when faltering Bolton visit Carrow Road on Saturday, with the German still a doubt after injuring his calf in the win at Swansea.
Vrancic added: “Obviously I got some tasks from the boss against Rotherham and he tells you want he expects from you in the game.
“Alex (Tettey) and I did well, we controlled the centre which was very important. It was an opponent that doesn’t gives you so much gaps to create something especially in the centre, and we controlled that.
“I don’t know if I did something different to Mo but I did my job, we won the game and I’m buzzing about it.”
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