Farke hails great leap forward from Cantwell in Canaries’ 1-0 win over Blues
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Todd Cantwell justified Daniel Farke’s faith with a man of the match display for Norwich City in Wednesday’s hard-fought 1-0 Championship win over Birmingham City at Carrow Road.
Cantwell’s future was the subject of endless speculation during the recent transfer window, with matters coming to a head when Farke left him out at Bournemouth citing a lack of focus.
But the City chief restored the fit-again midfielder to his line up and Cantwell responded with his best display of the new campaign for his boss.
Mario Vrancic struck an 87th minute winner, but the 22-year-old was a prominent figure in Norwich’s attempts to pierce a well-drilled Blues’ backline.
“This performance was miles away from the ones he did a few weeks ago. I am delighted for Todd,” said Farke. “He gave me exactly what I wanted in the areas where it counted. Even when it was painful he wanted to get in there where he can create goals and assists.
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“I thought he was there with a really, really good performance.
“Not a world class performance but I didn’t expect that. For his first game after a while he was involved in many good scenes.
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“It was difficult for my offensive players because there was pressure on all sides. For a game on this level when a team is defending that deep Todd was one of the players who tried to make things happen.
“He created a lot. Maybe he has to square the ball to Teemu Pukki in the first half and he has a simple tap in. I also thought there should have been a penalty when he was brought down.”
Pukki went off late on after pulling up sharply but Farke was hopeful the Finn had suffered nothing more than cramp.
“He worked so hard and the pitch was a bit difficult. It looked good on the surface but it was quite deep under foot,” he said. “I am not overly worried. A muscle cramp and we have some days between the games this week.
“I am a pretty happy man. First win at home this season.
“A clean sheet win. That is good for the confidence and the table. We played against a side who I knew would play in this way. Under Aitor (Karanka) they are always spot on in their defending.
“We had to stay patient because it was a well deserved win. We had to stay disciplined even when it is annoying when you miss chances.”