Beat Preston? Farke has a grander FA Cup plan
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Spiky, aggressive, in your face and confrontational. Preston will be every bit as combative as their manager, Alex Neil, warned Daniel Farke ahead of Norwich City’s FA Cup third round tie.
City surged to the Championship title last season with one blip on a triumphant march, a 3-1 midweek defeat at Deepdale.
Farke well remembers the way his side was overwhelmed by a ferocious start engineered by his predecessor at Carrow Road.
"Yes, I expect them to be in our faces, because that's more or less in their DNA," he said. "It's no coincidence that they have the best home record in the Championship, although they lost recently, so that means there's also a chance for their opponent.
"With all respect it is not like we are travelling to Anfield. I would say in the whole country they are one of the best pressing sides in the manner they are so aggressive and intense.
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"You might expect the Premier League team to be the favourite. I can't see any favourite for this game because you have a team fighting for promotion to the Premier League against a team fighting against relegation.
"The gap and the difference is not that big. We have to be at our best in order to win."
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Farke has a lot of respect for Neil. And an equal amount it seems for the cup competitions, since his arrival in England.
"He's doing a fantastic job. You can see this Preston team is growing from year to year," he said. "They are not the club with the biggest financial opportunities in that league but you can see the improvements they have made in the transfer market.
"They have chances to be in the mix fighting for promotion.
"Since I came here I have made it clear I am a big believer in cup competitions, and the FA Cup is quite important for us.
"It's a pretty traditional competition and it might not be realistic we win this cup - it is more realistic to talk in terms of Liverpool - but it's still possible and you want to be successful.
"It also can be important for the mood, the rhythm and the confidence. Sometimes a win in a cup game can lift the whole season.
"I remember when we were able to beat Cardiff City in the League Cup that was also a huge boost and not long after we started this unbeaten run in the league.
"We know it's a tricky game and difficult because of the lack of options in the centre back and striker positions."
Teemu Pukki misses out with hamstring and toe injuries, while Farke made it clear at Colney on Friday he would like to give both Christoph Zimmermann and Grant Hanley a breather after a hectic festive schedule.
"We won't do anything stupid. We know it's a fifth game in 14 days and we won't risk any injuries or risk any injured players," he said. "We will use the whole squad in this moment, but we want to put out the best side we can to win the tie and get into the next round
"It's a difficult draw for us.
"A tough game and for that we need a strong starting line up. Otherwise we pick up the phone and tell Preston we won't travel and allow them to go to the next round. To be in the hat for the fourth round of the FA Cup would be good for the confidence.
"Each and every win is important for the mood and the confidence. We also have a chance to extend our unbeaten games.
"If we are three games unbeaten then we can travel in this positive mood to Old Trafford."