Bad news for City's promotion rivals
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke has put Norwich City's rivals on notice they have the bottle to handle front running in the Championship promotion stakes.
The Canaries retain a six-point lead to the rest after Watford, Swansea and Brentford all drew in midweek. Bees’ chief Thomas Frank claimed after his side’s 1-1 stalemate against the Swans there is no stand out team in the top six ahead of the final push.
Farke insists Norwich’s title win two seasons ago underlines they will cope with the pressure, and any heat from the chasing pack, with City gearing up for Middlesbrough's visit this weekend.
“We have no problem to lead from the front. We proved this in the past. We are proving it right now,” he said. “Experience is always good. Whether it is the players or the coaching staff we know what it takes to lift a trophy and we have proved ourselves in this competition. That is good to know that you are capable of doing it.
"On the other hand, we needed to find new energy and greedy players who hadn’t experienced this before and want it. We have a good mix. To have an outstanding season two years ago helps a little bit but it is no guarantee.
"We are in unpredictable times with a pandemic when we don’t know if we have key players available.
“I don’t get over-excited. I have been here four years, I was at Borussia Dortmund before that. It is more or less the same. When we win people think we are back in the Premier League, if we lose the world goes down. We are not scared leading from the front.
"If you want to finish in the top two you need 90 points to be safe. If you want to be in the top six, maybe 80 points. We just have to keep going.”
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The manner City’s younger players have handled the expectation this season is a good sign for Farke ahead of the final push.
“It is important to stay calm and levelled and that is even more difficult for young players,” he said. “The best in the world show consistency. Even on a poorer day, or not the best game day, they are solid and reliable. You cannot be outstanding and world class every day.
"We want to develop our young players in this way and I feel Max (Aarons), Todd (Cantwell) and Emi (Buendia) are on the right path. I am never over the moon at one good week or one good month. To be allowed to speak about a top class season they have to keep going.”