Get behind McGovern urges Farke
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke is urging any sceptical Norwich City fans to focus on what Michael McGovern can do rather than fret about the hole left by injured first choice Tim Krul.
McGovern has the unenviable task of replacing, by common consent, the best operator in the Championship for the next three weeks, after the Dutchman’s thigh injury at Stoke.
The Northern Irish international’s last club start in the league came over a year ago.
Krul’s assured work with the ball at his feet is a crucial component of how Farke wants his side to build from the back, but the City head coach is sure McGovern can step up.
“Every player is different,” said Farke. “When we have (Przemyslaw) Placheta on the left wing, as opposed to Todd Cantwell, we would play in a slightly different way.
"They have different qualities, and the same with the keepers. Of course you have to adapt. Tim was in an unbelievable rhythm.
"Michael has not been involved for ages. Even for an experienced player it is difficult. But I totally trust Micky. He is a role model.
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“In terms of shot stopping he is outstanding. I sometimes have to tell him let some balls in in training to not harm the self confidence of our players.
"He is not as tall as Tim so maybe he is not able to catch the ball as well. Tim is left footed, Michael right footed so the centre backs have to keep that in mind but we all trust him in the dressing room.”
You could forgive Farke if his focus was at the top of the pitch today, with Teemu Pukki (hamstring) joining Jordan Hugill (shoulder) and Adam Idah (knee) on the sidelines for the Sky Blues’ test.
Marco Stiepermann is one option to fill the void, with some fresh young development talent set to be part of the matchday squad.
“Marco played a lot at youth level in this attacking role. For Germany at under-19 and under-21s,” said Farke. “He is a different type to Teemu, in terms of playing with his back to goal.
"I know it is an option but I also want as many players in their preferred positions. We already have Jacob Sorensen playing at left back and he is a central midfielder.
“Yes, we will have some younger options for this game. We had (Tom) Dickson-Peters with us at Stoke. Tyrese (Omotoye) would be an option but he was out for 12 days with injury. Maybe an option for the bench and moving forward.
"We have some interesting players for the mid to long term but I don’t want to put the pressure on him. I don’t want to hold expectations too high.”
Farke accepts expectancy is starting to soar on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run ahead of facing Mark Robins’ League One champions.
“After two difficult away games, when I was told a point in both might be good, to travel back with six points and play at home against a newly promoted side maybe the danger is you do one step less,” he said. “With so many injured players I don’t think we need to speak about complacency.
"We face a side still with the rhythm from promotion and the boost of a clean sheet win against Cardiff. I only have to show my players this result. In terms of individual quality you won’t find many better teams in the Championship with this manpower.
"We cannot let our demands drop. We are in a perfect position in the table and we want to protect this, even if we accept we are without some key players.”