Farke warns table topping City just warming up

Daniel Farke insists Norwich City can handle leading from the front, after moving top of the Championship in a 1-0 away win at Middlesbrough.

The Canaries stretched their unbeaten run to eight league games, with Teemu Pukki’s second-half penalty edging a tough battle on Teesside.

Farke was delighted to pick up where they left off prior to the international break after coming out the right side of another tense affair against Swansea at Carrow Road.

“It is good for the mood and confidence and the table but we are not addicted to the position in the table after 12 games,” said Farke, with City travelling to Stoke on Tuesday night. “It is not the most important thing. The only topic that counts is where you are after 46 games. I am happy with the amount of points.

“You have to be spot on in these games against top opponents.

“We had it against Swansea, who were on the way up, or Millwall, who were in the top six. We had away games at Bristol and Brentford and we have stayed unbeaten and now a massive win at Middlesbrough.

“I said in the build-up we had so many important players away on international duty and it was not possible for us to play Teemu from the start.”

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The Finnish frontman was introduced at the interval after Jordan Hugill suffered suspected shoulder ligament damage. Lukas Rupp also complained of more pain in the hamstring that kept him out against Swans at the final whistle.

Both will be assessed for the midweek trip to the Potters, along with Todd Cantwell, who again missed out on a place in the squad in the north-east.

“After the press conference (on Friday), when I said he had been able to train all week, he felt something in his hip in the final session,” said Farke, who already has Xavi Quintilla sidelined and will be without five other senior players until the new year.

“He is a bit unlucky as that is more or less the third or fourth time it has happened very close to a game. For four or five weeks he was not able to have a complete training week.

“That is annoying for him, because he needs to be in a rhythm. We are assessing that but the feeling was he couldn’t travel with us to Middlesbrough.”

Jacob Sorensen again deputised for Quintilla at the Riverside but if Neil Warnock had his way the Dane would be suspended for the midweek trip to Stoke. Warnock was adamant Sorensen merited a second yellow card for a late body check on Sam Folarin.

“Jacob is one of the fairest players on the planet,” said Farke. “In this situation he was booked for a doubtful foul in the first half. The second foul is very late in the game. I would have given a free kick but there was no bad intention.

“Neil is allowed to ask for whatever he wants as an experienced coach. I love this guy. As an opponent it is normal to judge a scene in a different way. But it was not a key scene. We were in the lead so even if we had gone down to 10 I am pretty sure we win this game.”

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