City gear up for early promotion tussle with Brentford
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Daniel Farke is convinced Brentford will be one of Norwich City’s biggest Championship promotion rivals.
The Canaries face an early test of their own top-flight credentials on Tuesday night against a club who lost in the play-off final last season in extra-time to Fulham.
Thomas Frank’s Bees were in the automatic spots right until the final week of the campaign and despite the Premier League sales of Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma over the summer, Farke views them as a real danger.
“Brentford for me is one of the big favourites.
“No other team at this level finished in a better position last season,” he said. “They were nearly over the line to automatic promotion. Without doubt they have the potential and Thomas Frank has done a fantastic job there with the level of consistency.
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“They have grown from season to season and you need that pedigree as a team and a club, which you can see with the new stadium. Yes they have lost two important players but (Ivan) Toney already has many goals.
“You could say it is easier for them than a team like us, Watford or Bournemouth, who have been relegated and are trying to deal with that. We are fully aware of their strengths.
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“They have a top group and I am pretty sure they will be in a high position. But we want to finish in a good position as well.”
City travel buoyed by three consecutive, if hard fought, Championship wins.
“All three were different stories but in the end the same result,” said Farke. “We turned a game from a losing position at Rotherham. Against Birmingham we had to show so much patience and then against Wycombe we get a fantastic start, concede an unnecessary goal from our point of view, lost our way for 25 minutes but then were able to get control back.
“I expect a hard fight, a hard battle. We will be on the front foot in some periods.
“Brentford will be on the front foot in others. A game where small details are crucial.
“We need an all round game. Our counter pressing has to get to an even better level than in recent matches.
“They are good at finding ways to keep the ball but we can’t afford to lose our style or confidence. In those periods we have to be compact if we must defend deeper.”