'It will be a tough game, we know that' - Rowett knows what to expect from in-form City
PUBLISHED: 13:11 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:37 05 October 2018
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Gary Rowett is expecting an energetic and well organised Norwich City team to cause his Stoke side problems at Carrow Road tomorrow.
The Potters have made a disappointing start to Championship life after a decade in the Premier League, winning three of their 11 games to sit 16th in the table – although only five points behind Norwich in a congested division.
Rowett’s team got back to winning ways with a 2-0 home victory over Bolton in midweek and their manager thinks he knows what to expect against Daniel Farke’s team, having lead Derby to a 2-1 win at Carrow Road last season.
“They’re an energetic team with good youth in there. They move well together as a team,” the Stoke boss said. “Daniel’s teams, we played a couple of times last season, are always very organised, that sort of German mentality about they move and press and limit space.
“We could be talking about any game in the Championship: we’ve got to go there and be very good defensively, which we probably have been in the majority of recent games – there’s just been small moments – and also be good enough to break them down.
“I’ve seen teams create chances against them so let’s see. It will be a tough game, we know that. I don’t think the recent run of form makes a lot of difference. In some ways the more games you win you ask if that run can continue. But we will go there and have to be the best Stoke we can be.
“We will probably have to defend and play as we did in the first half on Tuesday for the whole 90 minutes in order to get a result.”
It may have been a slow start to the campaign for the wealthy Potters, who are yet to win away from home, but Rowett is not hitting the panic button.
“I think the average position of a Premier League team relegated to the Championship is something like ninth,” he added, speaking to the Stoke Sentinel.
“That shows there is a magnitude of challenges. Even if one of the teams finishes higher than ninth it doesn’t mean they haven’t gone through those challenges.
“It shows how difficult an adjustment it is. We all felt that our squad on paper should be up there but there’s a million other things you have to factor into it.
“I think the players are starting to understand what the Championship is about. Players are starting to realise the rewards of working hard for each other and having to fight for every single thing in this division to even get a point out of the game, let alone three points.
“Only when you do those things does your quality start to come through. We’ve always known that there is quality in this group that will come through to win games of football.”