CUP PREVIEW: Better the devil you know for the Canaries?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
From the hunter to the hunted for Norwich City as they embark on the League Cup trail at Crawley Town.
Daniel Farke expertly harnessed the spirit of the underdog to push the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Bournemouth to the brink in cup ties on his watch in Norfolk.
That 9,000 strong travelling support at the Emirates was a memorable signpost on the journey, while Cherries' chief Eddie Howe wisely tipped the Canaries for promotion after ending City's League Cup bid last season in a nervy 2-1 home win.
But Norwich's head coach knows a much-changed line up on Tuesday night must embrace the pressure and expectation that comes with a place in round three up for grabs against the League Two hosts.
"We are totally respectful. We know we are the favourite and we accept this role," said Farke. "You also know that pretty often in cup competitions you get surprises.
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"A team from a lower league is always able to win a game.
"For them, the most important, the most exciting game of the season and a big chance for the coach and his players to shine.
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"They will put their strongest starting line up on the pitch and they will be highly motivated to play at home in front of their excited fans.
"From our side we will make a few changes and the lads who come in might need some time to adapt.
"We knew Chelsea or Liverpool or Newcastle's team very well. We don't know Crawley as well. Listen, we were also able to surprise teams in cups. We were able to compete very well against Premier League teams and we were close to beating Arsenal and Chelsea.
"We have to be fully switched on because we want to go to the next round."
Farke insists shuffling his pack is as much as about beating Crawley as preparing for West Ham away in the Premier League this coming weekend.
"We have to make changes," he said. "Not because we aren't interested in this competition.
"For me, the cups have the same priority as the league. We will not rotate to rest players for West Ham. I trust all my players but it is a quick turnaround from Chelsea and so it is important to bring fresh players on the pitch.
"It was really hot and the workload for my players, the running they had to do against a top side, was tough physically and mentally. We need a new energy on the pitch.
"I am not a big believer in too many changes. Pretty often two or three is good but any more is not healthy for the group. In this game we must change more positions."
Chelsea ruthlessly cashed in on what Farke termed 'small mistakes' from his side, but the City chief was yesterday keen to keep things in perspective.
"We have analysed the goals and it was not like there was massive individual mistakes.
"The behaviour could have been better in some situations," he said. "For me, Tammy Abraham is a top class striker who one day will be a world class striker. He showed glimpses in the Championship and there will be the day in the future when we speak about him as a world class striker.
"It is difficult to defend him in the penalty box but for the third goal we could defend that first touch a bit better.
"For the first goal, we had numbers back and it wasn't a world class cross so we could have got closer to him.
"In the detailed stuff we can defend better and we have spoken about that."