Canaries’ late, late shows are no fluke
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Labelling Norwich City the comeback kings of the Championship is a badge of honour for Daniel Farke.
City dug out a point at promotion contenders Brentford on Tuesday to continue the theme that also earned them late league wins against Rotherham, Birmingham and Wycombe.
Norwich’s never-say-die approach was a hallmark of the title-winning season, and Farke insists it speaks volumes about his current squad ahead of Saturday’s latest assignment at Bristol City.
The City boss was still in combative mood on Fridat, given he had refuted suggestions prior to the midweek Brentford trip such tense finishes are scant reward for overwhelming dominance of the ball.
“I don’t believe in coincidence. Many topics have to come together,” he said. “We have shown this is a strength at this level. It definitely shows our fitness levels, and also that we are dominating possession and can exhaust the opponent, so it gets to a point they are not able to close the gaps as well.
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“But you also need a winning mentality and again the other night we had another goal from the bench, which says a lot about the team spirit.
“If I am honest after a night’s sleep I was even happier watching the (Brentford) game back, particularly the first half.
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“The first 15 minutes we were brilliant but the mistake on our throw cost us. We were a bit shocked for a period but we then got back control of the game. A good point after being able to deliver against sides lower in the table. Birmingham have kept another clean sheet since we played them. Wycombe have gone and ground out a result against Watford.
“When you play the best teams, and Brentford is without doubt one of the best at this level, then you go to win but it is important not to lose it. To have 10 points from the last four, no other team has managed that.”
Bristol City have picked up two draws in that spell, to underline Farke’s point, after a fast-paced start to the season.
“The momentum in the Championship changes a lot,” said Farke. “I remember a spell when we won it and Emi (Buendia) was unavailable for three draws and then we won the next game and went 12 unbeaten.
“It can turn quickly. Looking at their first eight games, they had a really good, perfect start in terms of points. Not perfect in the last four but they were still in the top two after about 81 minutes the other night (at Bournemouth) and they concede and drop to sixth.
“A dangerous side, a club with the potential to fight for the top six.”
Xavi Quintilla is targeting a return against Millwall next week after positive scans on his hip issue.
Jacob Sorensen was press ganged into a debut at left back in midweek, before finishing the game on the right of a three.
Farke, however, is giving no clues away whether he intends to repeat the same experiment.
“I want us to be flexible but it is also important that just because one player is out we then have to change our whole set-up,” he said. “If it is the right choice then we will, and we have turned some games in this way with a three at the back, not just because our first choice left back is unavailable.
“If we think the four-man defensive set-up is the right way then that is the way we will go.
“With Xavi, there is no blood in the muscle. That is good news after the scan so not a major injury. More a question of days so we are full of hope he is available for Tuesday. But I am careful of predictions. He still doesn’t feel 100pc so we have to find a different solution for this game.”
Christoph Zimmermann is back in training following his calf issue. Josh Martin is scheduled to return to team training on Sunday after a back problem.