Farke reveals concerns for City stars

Kenny McLean is part of a sizeable group of Norwich City players set to travel on international duty

Kenny McLean is part of a sizeable group of Norwich City players set to travel on international duty over coming days Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke admits he has concerns about Norwich City’s international contingent travelling around Europe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Canaries made it seven games unbeaten with a 1-0 Championship victory over Swansea, but the domestic season is now on hold again for the next fortnight. Farke is usually keeping his fingers crossed none of his key personnel comes back injured, but there is an added dimension to a player exodus from Colney.

City have more than a dozen of the German’s squad dotted around the continent in various Euro qualifiers, Nations League games and friendlies.

The likes of Kenny McLean, Grant Hanley and Michael McGovern have huge Euro play-off final ties, but many of their club-mates will also be asked to feature in friendlies.

Farke questions the wisdom with travel restrictions in place as England enters a second national lockdown allied to similar measures across mainland Europe.

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“Players are not robots, they are humans, they are not allowed to see close family members but they have to travel to high risk areas,” he said. “That is hard to accept when this country is going into a lockdown and no one is allowed to see their family members.

“It hurts us more than maybe Wycombe or Rotherham, who don’t have to give away their players for friendlies or international games. Not just for competitive games but for friendlies. I understand the nations maybe need to earn some revenue but it is hard to accept.

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“It is great we can play further on. But when I also look at the upcoming international fixtures, and see the workload in other parts of this country, or the world, being reduced, yet we are trying to increase the workload for the players.

“We play seven league games in 21 days, then we have 15 or 16 internationals who might play two or three games, and it is this rhythm until February.”

City resume their Championship quest with another testing trip to improving Middlesbrough, but Farke’s squad again proved they can mix it with promotion rivals at the weekend to beat the Swans.

“When you play these sides you cannot dominate them from the first to the last second,” said Farke. “A massive game between two top class sides, so to return to the dressing room with a clean sheet win and another late goal feels amazing. I was pretty delighted. Swansea reached the play-offs last season, they were above us in the table and they will fight for the title, or at least for the top six.

“First half, it felt a bit like the Millwall game where we had some chances in and around the goal, free kicks, and you need to score out of such dominance. In the second half they had spells and then you need to be solid, you need top class keeping from Tim Krul.

“We scored a fantastic team goal and even then they didn’t have a proper chance afterwards.

“A complicated and tight game. Many compliments to the lads that we were able to end this streak of games seven unbeaten, and a fourth clean sheet of the season going into the international spell.”

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