BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Farke demands focus against wily Owls
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If Sheffield Wednesday have downed tools then Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has not had the memo.
The Owls’ Championship play-off hopes took a major hit with defeats to Aston Villa and Leeds last weekend, but Farke expects Steve Bruce to have his side ready to try and dent City’s own promotion charge.
Norwich will look to respond after Sheffield United’s win earlier in the day over Nottingham Forest tightened things up again in the race for automatic promotion.
“Yes, they have lost two of the last three but they could have got something at Leeds and let’s be honest anyone can lose to Aston Villa in this division,” said Farke. “Prior to that they were unbeaten under Steve.
“You get the feeling this team now plays with lots of commitment and is well-structured. They are tough to beat. They have that desire and so many experienced players have come back into the side.
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“Look at Barry (Bannan) in midfield, he is a key player. Plus we know what Jordan Rhodes has brought to us and yet for them he was not involved. That is a sign of their quality.
“There is still a chance for them to make a late push for the play-offs, maybe not the best chance after losing to Leeds, but they will still fight. I feel they will be highly-motivated so this is a tricky game for us.
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“Steve is an experienced coach who knows what it takes to be successful on this level. It is always nice to have a chat before and especially after the game with him. He is such a nice character. I am pretty sure he’ll be keen to get some points at Carrow Road.”
Farke’s table toppers have been held by Reading and Wigan in recent games, but the head coach prefers to focus on the bigger picture.
“We are always greedy to win football games,” he said. “This season we are used to winning football games. When you come back into the dressing room after a win it is a great feeling. We want that back but it was not too long ago.
“We are 10 unbeaten and you know about this saying of ‘never changing a winning side’ but in each game we assess things, what strengths we need, which positions are going to be important. I think about this before each and every game.
“I am not concerned but we have options, many midfield options especially. It is up to me to find the right balance.
“I have been pleased with the performance level.
“Against Reading we had 75pc possession and more than 20 shots and were leading until the 97th minute. At Wigan, not the same game, but a good point away. We were on the end of a harsh penalty but we kept our nerve, equalised, and could have won the game.”