BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Farke’s impassioned plea to City fans to upset the odds against Pep’s champions
- Credit: PA
Everest beckons for injury-hit Norwich City but Daniel Farke is calling for bravery against Manchester City.
Farke could have a full starting line up unavailable through injury and the ineligibility of Patrick Roberts against his parent club.
That would be tough enough against any Premier League opponent. Pep Guardiola's galaxy of attacking talent makes the assignment even more daunting; which is why Farke expects back up from the Carrow Road faithful like never before.
"We need that support in this game," he said. "We might have some very young lads in the squad, who perhaps are going to be a bit nervous and making their debuts. We need trust and support from the fans. There will be some difficult times but let's stick together.
"There will be plenty of enthusiasm and it is up to me to give them confidence. My feeling is we have nothing to lose with the injuries but we can win a lot. That is the message.
"I will back them, I will protect them and I will not be annoyed if it is not the perfect performance.
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"All I ask is they are brave and they have invested everything. I don't want them to come back into the changing room after the game and have this feeling that they could have given something more.
"We said before the season we would have to climb Everest without the right tools to stay in this league. This type of game is one of the toughest challenges you can get. Liverpool and Manchester City are the two best teams in Europe for me at the moment, possibly the world. You need a top class day just to be competitive.
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"We showed against Liverpool and Chelsea we can be competitive.
"Even Liverpool, forget the result, we were close to gaining more than just a 4-1 defeat."
Farke admitted on Friday he did not have enough defensive options to try and park the bus against the Citizens, but insisted his side also pose an attacking threat spearheaded by Premier League player-of-the-month Teemu Pukki.
"It is important we are precise in our pressing because we also need to get a decent amount of possession. We have to be good in that phase," he said. "We are a threat in the offence. It is not a coincidence Teemu won the player-of-the-month.
"If we take that away from our game and we just concentrate on defending we have no chance. We know even better teams, or teams with a better reputation, are not able to do this.
"Manchester City is outstanding and have such a special, world class team and world class coach. I like their playing philosophy and their approach a lot. When this comes together for a big, professional club it is so powerful.
"You see in how they attack teams they are greedy to score goals."
Defensive duo Max Aarons and Ben Godfrey both returned from England Under-21 duty with injuries, but Farke adopted a philosophical outlook.
"In football, like in life, sometimes when you think it can't get any worse you get a sucker punch and you have to handle it," he said. "We won't complain. There are much worse fates in life and you have to remind yourself there are more important things than playing a game of football.
"My feeling is sometimes when you have muscle injuries then you ask yourself as a coach should we reduce the training load or do something different, but more or less these are injuries from a bad tackle or an unlucky situation, like Onel (Hernandez) falling down the stairs at home."