Farke maps out his risk averse strategy on Pukki and Krul
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City have put the foot on the accelerator in the Championship but Daniel Farke is adopting a risk averse policy with some of his key men for Bristol City’s visit.
Teemu Pukki is again missing with the side strain that sidelined him for the weekend 2-1 win at Cardiff City which opened a up a four point lead at the top.
Pukki will also miss this Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Barnsley, in a bid to return fit and firing for the league battles ahead.
But Farke indicated on Tuesday the Robins’ duel might signal the return of Tim Krul after his period of self isolation following a positive coronavirus diagnosis.
“We have to be careful. If I am honest it was pretty serious for Tim. He had some proper symptoms,” said Farke. “I don’t mean he was in danger and he had to go to the hospital but he was struggling a lot.
"From a legal point of view he was available for Cardiff but he didn’t feel great and he still felt physically down a bit before that game. This virus is so unpredictable and we have to be careful.
“Since Cardiff he has been much improved. He was back outside on the pitches on Sunday and he has improved day to day. He has a solid chance to be involved in this game, although Daniel Barden was fantastic the other day.
- 1 Spurs confirm Skipp has had surgery after injury with Canaries
- 2 Tettey's heartfelt thanks to City fans
- 3 Could City target any free agents this summer?
- 4 City star facing possible race for Euros fitness due to injury
- 5 Former City defender lands senior role at Wolves
- 6 City transfer rumours: Manchester United defender in the frame
- 7 City confirm Tettey and Vrancic exits
- 8 'All I can say is thank you' - Webber's personal tribute to departing City duo
- 9 Title win was the missing link for City ace
- 10 Norwich City transfer rumours: Celtic midfielder on Canaries' radar
"Whether it is players or backroom staff the health of the human being is more important than what happens on the pitch.
“Teemu’s injury hasn’t really improved much and I am pretty sure he misses the FA Cup on Saturday. We hope to have him back for Middlesbrough. A bit of a blow but you can’t expect my players to play 46 league games and the FA Cup ties.”
Should Barden return to the bench he does so with his growing reputation enhanced. The 20-year-old's impact has also lessened the urgency to bring in another keeper in the transfer window.
“With Daniel’s performance the keeper situation has eased up a bit,” said Farke. “We are staying awake but only if there is a proper option that makes sense from the financial point of view.
“You can only give him many compliments. It is not easy to come into a side when you are replacing a guy in Tim Krul labelled the best in the league and someone unbelievably experienced in Michael McGovern. He was under pressure and he had to deliver. He has done this.
"Probably no other keeper in world football has a better points average at this stage. He is a fantastic lad. He improves each and every day and I have to praise the job Ed Wootten (goalkeeper coach) is doing with him.
"I liked the calmness and coolness of his body language at Cardiff. To have this confidence at such a young age is great.”
Lukas Rupp and Josh Martin are in contention for the squad after bouts of flu, but Christoph Zimmermann (hip) along with Bali Mumba and Xavi Quintilla (coronavirus) remain sidelined for what Farke insists will be an awkward affair against Bristol City.
“Bristol is a good side. Very flexible. They can change their base formation a lot and also during games so it is not easy to prepare for them,” he said. “They are a brave side, who show a lot of courage.
"They have had some recent setbacks but they don’t change their behaviour. This is an away game at the league leaders so they have nothing to lose.
“Each opponent tries to find their game of the season. If you look our the results and winning a lot of games by one goal it seems we are going the hard way. But that is a sign how tight the Championship is.
"I would prefer easier games but it is good to have this winning mentality, whether it is bringing a tight game over the line or turning a game in our favour.
“I think there are similarities to two years ago, when we won the title, but also some differences. Two years ago no one really counted on us or expected us to be there.
"Now the burden of being the favourite is on our shoulder every game. We also have some more experienced players who have had success at this level.
"Everyone is aware of our class and strength, so this time around is much difficult for us.”