Farke defends tough love stance with City duo

Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia were left out of Norwich City's last Championship game
Picture: Paul

Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia were left out of Norwich City's last Championship game Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke is clear there will only ever be one winner in a battle of wills between him and his Norwich City players.

Farke made the bold call to leave out both Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia for last weekend’s 1-0 Championship defeat at Bournemouth and then publicly questioned their lack of focus over on-going transfer speculation.

The City chief was unrepentant on Friday, but hinted the duo had done enough to come back in from the cold for Derby County’s visit to Carrow Road.

“There can be no exceptions,” he said. “I was asked about why they were not involved. I was pretty honest. I could have hidden behind injuries. But I chose to be honest and give my true opinion.

“I want players who are fully focused on the next task. Yes, they should be our best offensive players but they were not focused. It wasn’t about blaming them. We are humans, not robots, and the speculation can affect different players in different ways.

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“But I cannot let my standards drop or that sends the wrong message.

“To travel without Todd and Emi is a tough decision for me, believe me. I love both players. We need their quality. But if they are not switched on or not disciplined I cannot pick them.

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“What message does that send to their team-mates? Less work and still get picked. Train however you want? Without desire and hard work you have no chance with me to be picked.”

Farke still wants both on board for the Championship fightback.

“Each week is a new chance to grab with both hands,” he said. “This is a way you lead a group of 30 players and this is my way. But I want to draw a line under this story.

“They have all chances to be involved if they deliver in training.

“For this club, the club is always the most important. More than any player, staff member, coach or sporting director. We have to stick together, fight together and fight for the yellow shirt.

“I know exactly what I say. I know exactly the effect of my words. I know sometimes you have to provoke a little bit. Pretty rarely will I criticise publicly. Just two exceptions.

“If a player does something against the group or he is not leaving his heart out on the pitch.

“If this happens my first stage is to criticise internally, then the next step maybe in front of the group and if there is no reaction them perhaps you have to go public.”

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