Farke places City on red alert
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke has mapped out the two areas he feels can trigger ‘lift off’ for Norwich City’s Championship season.
The Canaries’ boss has detected plenty of positive signs ahead of Birmingham City’s visit to Carrow Road on Tuesday. But the lack of a cutting edge and the lack of control to stop the counters were his takeaways from a confidence-boosting comeback at Rotherham.
Address those and there are good times ahead in the opinion of the City boss.
“All I ask is you judge it in an objective way,” he said. “The two games we lost this season we were by far the better side. But that doesn’t matter when you lose. You have to score goals. I have seen a statistic we are top for possession in the league and passing accuracy. We are pretty close to top in final third entries and shots.
“That says a lot. What we have to improve is our effectiveness. We have quality in the offence but we need to show it.
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“We also allowed too many chances for me (at Rotherham). We have conceded five goals in five games, which is not generally too bad, but I would like to see us control the counters a bit better.
“I really don’t agree with anyone saying ‘it was only Rotherham’.
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“They had this confidence you see in newly-promoted sides, they also had a six week pre-season because their season finished much earlier and no players away on international duty. Then they got the perfect start with scoring so early. When I think back to the title season we had nearly 100 points and 100 goals but we didn’t blow every opponent away.
“We turned a lot of tight games in our favour, close results, and we ground out a lot of games. Those are the ones we all still remember, like Millwall or Nottingham Forest.”
That memorable Onel Hernandez-inspired 3-3 fightback against Nottingham Forest hastened the arrival of Aitor Karanka at the City Ground. The Spaniard is now trying to revive Birmingham’s fortunes.
“I am full of respect for Aitor and his CV.
“He is so experienced on this level and his teams are always difficult to beat,” said Farke. “Birmingham have maybe the most experienced starting line up in the whole league. You won’t find too many really young players – (George) Friend, (Adam) Clayton, (Gary) Gardner, (Lukas) Jutkiewicz. These lads know what is required to win points in the Championship.
“They have been involved in many battles. I expect a side who are difficult to break down.”
Christoph Zimmermann (calf) is again absent but Olly Skipp has shown no after effects from the shocking challenge that earned Rotherham defender Angus MacDonald a red card.
“You could see all the blood marks on his quad but thankfully it was flesh and not his knee,” said Farke. “It is not my style or classy to speak too much about the opponent, and I can understand on the pitch the emotions and a rush of blood. I don’t want my players complaining about tackles but you also have to make sure you don’t risk the health of players.
“There is a line and this tackle was over the line for me. I am not saying he had any bad intention. It looked unbelievably dangerous because it was a tackle full of speed.”