City strikeforce is best in class for Farke
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke would not swap his Norwich City strikers for any Championship rivals, but knows there needs to be a tipping point in the quest for goals.
The Canaries again dominated possession but relied on Mario Vrancic’s 87th minute finish to finally breach Birmingham’s packed defence in midweek.
City had 73pc of the ball and mustered 23 shots but looked set for more frustration until second half arrival Vrancic slotted from the edge of the area, after the visitors had Adam Clayton sent off.
Farke insists such headline figures suggest it is a matter of when, not if, they cut loose.
Teemu Pukki and Jordan Hugill both started against the Blues, while Adam Idah was involved in the match-sealing moment.
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All three have already got off the mark this season and Farke believes that attacking spearhead is as good as any in the second tier, but aims to keep promotion rivals guessing.
“Like I said with Teemu (before the game) I don’t judge any of my strikers by winning the golden boot,” he said. “But as a group they work as a special squad. We need at least 35 goals combined to finish in a top position. If one scored 35 and the others didn’t then so be it.
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“I don’t judge my strikers by individual statistics but by the success of the team. They know this.
“They all want to score 35 goals, believe me, and I was a striker.
“I love to have strikers on the pitch but you see Liverpool won the league with just one central striker and two wingers. Manchester City before, just one striker, or sometimes no strikers. Bayern Munich, Real Madrid all one central striker.
“That is why I can’t play three from the start. But there will be moments maybe in a game we have three or two on the pitch.
“We have three of the top boys in the league and there is lots of competition but they feel like friends and they are working together and happy if the other guy scores.”
City aim look to round off a perfect week against Wycombe on Saturday at Carrow Road, and the hosts might reasonably expect to dominate possession and territory once more against the league new boys.
“We know scoring goals is always good for the self-confidence but we are creating chances. That for me is the main thing right now,” said Farke. “All we can do is keep working on this in training, and how we create even more chances against deep lying teams.
“In the entire Championship we are top in terms of possession and shots and created chances.
“Now we have to use a few more of them. In one or two scenes (against Birmingham) perhaps we were too selfish. We need to be brutal, okay, but you also have to keep in mind the overview of each situation and if there is an easier square pass to lead to a goal then do that.
“It is a question of confidence. I am sure once my offensive players score some goals then you will see them grow. This is a mindset, it is about being cool in front of goal and then it is down to the self confidence of the players. But we have created goals to win these last two games.
“We always speak about things like moving the ball quickly to stretch opponents, but you have to recognise there is an opponent on the other side. If they stick 10 lads behind the ball it is not that easy to break the lines.
“All 10 Birmingham players were defending in front of their own box.
“To find the perfect gap is unrealistic or even an easy pass where you are one against one with the keeper.”
Hugill expressed his affection for his new club after his nerveless penalty sunk Rotherham last weekend, and for Farke the feeling is mutual following a summer chase to land the powerhouse from West Ham.
“I have told him he is playing with the best strikers in the league and he is one of the best strikers in the league.
“When they are all together it is the place to be,” he said, “Jordan is a top player and like Teemu, for me, he doesn’t have to prove anything. He has shown he can score goals and he has improved year on year in the Championship.”