Farke's bold claim on Super Mario
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Mario Vrancic is Norwich City’s Championship code breaker for Daniel Farke after his latest starring role inspired a 2-1 comeback against Sheffield Wednesday.
City were on course for a second consecutive defeat until the Bosnian teed up Josh Martin and Max Aarons to cap a thrilling fightback in front of 2,000 fans back at Carrow Road.
Vrancic made the most of a rare start, but Farke insists his value must be measured in more than minutes.
“Mario is one of our key players. It is not important you play each and every minute but that within the group you are important. Mario is fantastic,” said Farke. “You can always count on him. With the ball, in possession, he is one of the best in the country.
"Perhaps without the ball he is not the most mobile or good defensively.
"But he can change a game with his passing and quality. He is probably the best player in this league to change a game from the bench as well.
"Sometimes we need him in that role but we felt this was a game we would be in possession a lot and had to try and crack an opponent who would park the bus.
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“He proved this with two assists. We should value him and his character and personality. Of course he wants to play every minute but he is professional and thinks about the group. To have someone with this personality is great."
Vrancic departed late on but Farke hopes that was a bout of cramp after his recent inactivity. Przemyslaw Placheta is a bigger concern for Nottingham Forest's upcoming midweek visit.
"He felt something in his hamstring so we have to assess him. We can’t afford him not to be available with his pace," said Farke. "I think it was some cramps with Mario. It is hard because we can’t rotate so much.
"Teemu Pukki had maybe one and a half training sessions before this game and in my mind I wanted to bring him off after 60 minutes but we needed an attacking threat."
Todd Cantwell, Kieran Dowell and Jordan Hugill were poised to re-join full training ahead of Forest's visit as City's longer term injury problems start to ease. Match-winner Aarons showed no after effects from his shin injury in the last home game against Coventry City with a full shift in the past few days against both Luton and now the Owls.
Aarons' first goal in City colours since December 2018 should not be his last for Farke.
"Max knows we love him and we know his ability but we have spoken about this in recent weeks with him. He can be a goal threat against sides who park the bus," said Farke. "In these games we need to attack from the wings.
"We can’t rely on the magic of Emi Buendia and the goals of Teemu. We have to share the responsibility. We allow our players this freedom to attack the box. He had the give and go and was in on goal."