Aston Villa 4 Norwich City 2 reaction: Daniel Farke’s verdict
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Daniel Farke admitted City were their own worst enemies in a sloppy first half that set the tone for a 4-2 Championship defeat at Aston Villa.
Conor Hourihane’s hat-trick consigned City to another Villa Park episode to forget, as Steve Bruce’s side notched up their first league win of the new season.
City hit back twice through Josh Murphy and Nelson Oliveira, who had to overcome a groin injury to be involved, but Hourihane’s brace after the interval secured the points after the ex-Barnsley midfielder and Andre Green had put the hosts in command during the first half.
“We know Aston Vila would be aggressive and motivated. It was almost a do-or-die game for them so early in the season,” said Farke. “We knew with having the third game in six days it would be a hard struggle but the reason today was we didn’t play well enough in the first half. We were very bad and Villa deserved to be in the lead at half-time.
“I was content with the reaction of my guys. We ere the better team and scored and were close to equalising. Then we had two unlucky situations. One was a doubtful free kick and then a deflected shot from 24 metres. Normally not a great chance to score. We came back to 3-2 and I had this feeling we could come back again but everyone in the stadium could see it was a handball in the build up.
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“We stopped playing and out of this situation Villa scored. Another setback. We have to accept it. I am content with the attitude and response in the second half but the reason we lost was the first half. We made some silly and easy mistakes. We can’t influence the decisions of the referee. We have to improve in the areas that we can influence. That is what we will be talking about this week.”
Farke revealed both Oliveira and Marley Watkins carried injuries into the game and confirmed Ivo Pinto was not involved as a precaution after an injury-disrupted pre-season.
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“Ivo’s pain was too much to travel. We decided after training on Friday,” he said. “We had a lot of load with the games in a short period of time. In addition to that Marley had some problems with his foot. He was on the bench but had some pain in the training. Then this morning Nelson had big problems with his groin. We thought he would be out but the physios worked with him and after a pool session he felt much better.
“We felt if it was necessary that we couldn’t do without him we would bring him and maybe in the last few minutes if we needed him for a result we could bring him on and take the risk. He scored, had a good appearance and hopefully no bad reaction. It was a difficult situation today but we have to handle it. Even with those problems we could have done better.”