City knocked off top spot as Leeds and Sheffield United turn up the heat in Championship promotion scrap
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Tunnel vision is Daniel Farke’s mantra to get Norwich City to the Premier League, after losing Championship top spot to Leeds United on Tuesday night.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men hammered Reading 3-0 away to move a point clear of the Canaries, ahead of Hull City’s visit to Carrow Road on Wednesday.
Ten-man Sheffield United also moved within a point of City in third spot, after overcoming Gary Madine’s first half red card to beat Brentford 2-0 at Bramall Lane.
Norwich have wowed supporters with their freescoring football this season but dug deep deep to grind out a 1-0 home win over Swansea City last week - and that could set the tone for the run in.
“We just have to take care of what we can influence,” said Farke, speaking earlier on Tuesday. “We are not praying for a result or when a direct opponent is playing sitting on the sofa and biting the nails. We are in a brilliant position and at this stage every game day is our game day.
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“Even if the opponents win points the games are getting less and you are still in a brilliant position - if we do what we need to do.
“This is the message to the players. It is more like you have to concentrate and focus on what we want to do. We don’t go into Hull just thinking about the result, no, we focus on what we need to do to get this result, in terms of our pressing, possession and build up. Not worrying what could go wrong if we lose this game.”
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Farke is backing his promotion hopefuls to cope with any fresh adversity, after Swansea’s slick possession made for an uncomfortable watch, until Emi Buendia crashed home a second half winner.
“This is the crunch time of the season and you have to be cool, calmed down and don’t lose the nerve,” he said. “My feeling is we have handled this in all the big games so far this season when there was setbacks.
“I totally trust my lads they can do this and they have to, to be successful in the crucial period. We have won difficult games in recent weeks and then you get a game where what you are doing is not good enough and you have to tweak some things.
“Then it is important not to be too frustrated when things are not going as well as they have. You have to dig in.
“We did that in the second half and in the next weeks there will be difficult periods and setbacks. Just believe and stick to the plan and be flexible.”