Love at first sight? Not quite for City chief ahead of Wilder reunion
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Daniel Farke admitted it was not love at first sight with Chris Wilder, but now they are the best of Premier League pals.
Norwich City's top flight trip to Sheffield United this weekend evokes memories of the first incident-packed meeting between the two bosses.
Wilder launched a post-match tirade after a spicy 2017 Bramall Lane win for the Canaries, with Farke's club and their coach driver coming in for criticism.
Both sealed automatic promotion from the Championship last season but Wilder has plotted a remarkable tilt at European football while City scrap for survival ahead of the run in.
"You have to say it was not love on the first view but sometimes the biggest love develops. We have a really, really good relationship," said Farke, speaking at Colney on Friday afternoon.
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"We are both respectful and I am unbelievably happy for him that he gets so many compliments. Well deserved. He is doing a fantastic job. It is a good way. There is no book how football works or the approach you need to show how you can be successful.
"When you compare their style with ours and the philosophy of the two clubs we are different in many topics, similar in a few. But there is no doubt Chris is full of class and I am full of respect.
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"We are quite often in touch with positive text messages but I am pretty sure on Saturday we are competitors and he wants the three points and I want the three points. But we'll shake hands before and afterwards."
Wilder hailed Farke's work at his own pre-match press call and revealed he had plenty of sympathy for the German's horrendous run with injuries this season.
"In football and sometimes in life you need a bit of luck. For sure," he said. "Even when the odds are against you, you must not give up. You have to keep going and this is the mentality I want for my club.
"It would have been a bit easier to have all my key players at the start of the season.
"Then if you can win points and get to a good position as the season develops then you go into games with more confidence, or go away and know even a point is a good result.
To go into the position where you need to win to close a gap is more difficult. That is not a choice but we accept that situation and we will keep going.
"It can be hard to accept so many setbacks, not just the injuries but some other crazy things like VAR. No complaints from our side.
"We will keep going."