Magnificent seven. Farke gears up for City’s defining act

Daniel Farke hugs Emi Buendia and Kenny McLean after Norwich City's 1-0 Championship win at Middlesb

Daniel Farke hugs Emi Buendia and Kenny McLean after Norwich City's 1-0 Championship win at Middlesbrough Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Fantastic. World class. Outstanding. Daniel Farke is running out of superlatives after Norwich City’s win at Middlesbrough pushed the Canaries a giant step towards the Premier League.

Onel Hernandez’s second half strike on Saturday extended City’s lead at the top of the Championship to five points, and opened up a seven point buffer to third-placed Sheffield United with seven league games left.

The Canaries’ seventh straight league victory also matched previous club streaks that ended in title-winning seasons in both 2004 and 2010.

“Fantastic, world class, outstanding,” said Farke. “I am a very proud head coach. You can use all these words to describe what we are doing with such a young side at this stage of the season, to be so consistent.

“You can only praise the lads. That (seven straight wins) is a nice omen but not a guarantee.

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“We’ll take it but we just enjoy winning, whether it is the first or the eighth in a row. We have seven massive games and we are looking forward to them.”

City had to dig in after Hernandez’s low finish, with captain Christoph Zimmermann conjuring a match-winning clearance to foil Stewart Downing.

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“The commitment and desire is outstanding. It is key to our consistency,” said Farke.

“I was a bit concerned after we missed chances that in the last minutes it is so difficult to defend the tall players, set players and long throws.

“We had this will to protect our goal and show that desire.

“We have been praised so often during the season for our style of play, for our combinations, for our tactical threats.

“That is well deserved but also to have this desire and willingness to be all together; these blocks and actions are a sign of our togetherness off the pitch as well as on it.

“Not just the lads on the pitch but the ones not involved or not in the squad.

“We have big leaders who take care of this spirit.

“Christoph is fantastic. The whole season and last season. He is a brilliant lad.”

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