‘We can’t expect wins because we don’t bring in £10m or £20m players’ - Farke assesses City’s task
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Daniel Farke has dusted himself off. Now the Norwich City boss will challenge his boys to upset runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Farke and his players left Newcastle frustrated at failing to convert a stack of chances in a 0-0 draw prior to the mid-winter break.
The City head coach gave his troops a break to recharge for the relegation battles ahead - but the countdown has now begun to a daunting visit from the Reds.
"First of all I had to pick myself up. Never mind the players," he said. "No, seriously that is part of my job. The players are experienced enough. They know they delivered a decent result.
"The same as in the last four games. A clean sheet win against Bournemouth, an FA Cup win at Burnley and a top class performance at Tottenham. That is four in a row.
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"We have to pick ourselves up. It is all I can ask for. I can't ask for a miracle. That wouldn't be normal but just to give ourselves chances to win. That is what we must do in the final 13 games, give ourselves a chance to win.
"We can't expect wins because we don't bring in £10m or £20m players. If we did then we could be a bit more strict. We simply have to back our players, back our young lads and that is what we are trying to do. That is our way."
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Farke opted to hold back Emi Buendia until a late cameo in the north-east, after a quad problem, but the Argentine served up an assist for Teemu Pukki at Anfield on the opening night and has earned plenty of personal recognition in recent weeks.
"I am not addicted to individual awards or statistics.
"For me just the team successes are quite important," said Farke. "I was asked this a lot last season when we had the record season and many months with lots of wins in a row, and yet I always missed the manager-of-the-month award.
"I was asked if I'm annoyed or whatever. Listen, the only thing that I'm interested in is the success of the team, so not individual awards for coaches or players. It's good Emi has some good statistics and is in a good shape but I don't want to praise individuals.
"I want the group to be successful."
Over the past week Buendia was included in a team-of-the-month, drawn across the top five European leagues, featuring the likes of Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.