‘We need to be tested for the Premier League’ – City boss relishing Italian job at Carrow Road
Daniel Farke admits Norwich City will have to up their game for a Carrow Road homecoming against Champions League hopefuls Atalanta (7pm).
The Canaries host the Serie A side tonight in what marks a first outing since clinching promotion to the Premier League on a balmy evening against Blackburn back in April.
Farke's squad hammered Luton Town 5-1 at the weekend but their penultimate friendly looks a much tougher prospect.
"A team allowed to play in the Champions League. That tells you how tough it will be. But exactly what we wanted," he said. "The quality goes without saying. If you are allowed to play in the Champions League it is top level. So this is a top level test. Maybe you can compare it with playing one of the top six teams in England. So we have to be really focused in order to be competitive.
"We need to be tested for the Premier League and we are looking forward to getting back to Carrow Road to play a game. Last pre-season we couldn't play there so for the new faces it is good they get used to it.
"Atalanta is a pretty good possession side, very experienced and in terms of defending, very good as well. You have to be really precise in the final third and effective in using your chances."
The Bergamo-based club edged out AC Milan to qualify for the Champions League for the first time on the last day of the Serie A season. Atalanta also reached the Italian Cup final.
The Italians lost to Swansea City 2-1 at the weekend on the opening leg of their UK trip as they build up for the start of their domestic season on August 24.
Farke wants no let up from his own squad after moving through the gears against the Hatters at Kenilworth Road.
"Yes, I can't deny it. That was impressive. A really, really good performance," he said. "We were pretty respectful because we knew this was a side playing with plenty of rhythm after promotion in their final game before they start (in the Championship) against Middlesbrough. They started with their strongest side. They tried to be aggressive early but we were unbelievably focused and determined to be there with a good performance. I made it clear from the first second we needed to be concentrated and professional. We did that for the 90 minutes."