Odds stacked against Norwich City but don’t tell Daniel Farke
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The moment Daniel Farke started reeling off Arsenal’s reserves is when you realised the scale of the task for his depleted Norwich City squad.
Farke knows the playing field is anything but level against the Premier League aristocrats, with a League Cup quarter-final at stake.
“There is no pressure on us because 19 times out of 20 in this situation, Arsenal would go through to the next round. There is always that one time, though, to create something special,” he said. “I like situations where people don’t expect you to create special moments.
“We can really enjoy this game. I love this cup competition, where it is do-or-die, when everything is against you. To face Arsenal at the Emirates 48 hours after a high intensity derby with a lot of injuries is normally a task you can’t achieve. I am not a coach in football just to reach realistic targets. I want to do more with my lads. They played 48 hours ago as well but the difference is if (Alexis) Sanchez comes out, (Olivier) Giroud comes in. If (Mesut) Ozil is out, then Theo Walcott comes in. All world class players.
“We know Arsenal is a big favourite but we didn’t win this shot in the lottery. We had three brilliant cup performances to get here and now we can go into the last eight. There is no pressure on us, but we are greedy.”
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City do have one trump card. A near 9,000-support in their corner.
“I said after beating Ipswich the Canaries are flying now. We are going to fly to Arsenal and hopefully they are able to fly back. It is great. The support is massive,” said Farke. “We had to struggle in the beginning of the season but I got the feeling the supporters were carrying us and we were standing together.”
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It does make a difference in some games.
“It is a great honour to be responsible for this club and to represent those amazing fans.
“Each and every day at Colney or when you stand on the pitch you have to remember you play for them. You have to give everything inside and give your whole heart. The players are doing that.
“We’ve won our last five away games and that gives us confidence. It’s a big task but I’m concentrated on bringing the best result back to Norwich City. We’re full of respect for Arsenal but we want to beat them. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re looking to create something special.”
Farke’s troops have to try and cause a cup shock just two days after a gruelling East Anglian derby win at Ipswich Town.
“Normally you would give the lads a day or two off so they could savour what they had achieved,” he said. “We are not able to work on the training pitch and many of the same lads will have to play again.
“I would prefer to prepare for this big game in a more relaxed situation. I trust my lads. They are hungry.
“It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old if you lose that hunger then you must stop in football. Maybe for the younger lads you have to calm them down a bit because they might not have played in a 60,000 stadium.
“We will travel there with a smile on our face. I like situations when everything seems against you.”