Farke opens up on special relationship with Cantwell
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Todd Cantwell is ‘back on track‘ and ready to boost Norwich City’s Championship promotion bid.
Cantwell is expected to return to the mix for Tuesday’s home game against Birmingham after a bruised knee ruled him out against Rotherham.
That came after a transfer window when he was serially linked with a move away from Carrow Road finally closed, ahead of the 2-1 comeback win at the Millers.
Daniel Farke left the 22-year-old out for an early season league defeat at Bournemouth, citing a lack of focus due to the incessant speculation about his future, but the City boss believes Cantwell has put that behind him.
“When I felt it was the right time we spoke and we are unbelievably close,” said Farke. “It is not the case now he is suddenly going to become world class, it is a process.
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“Working each and every day to find that consistency to gain his momentum back.
“I don’t expect miracles but he has to work for the team, and he will get back in his shape and during these last two weeks he looked on a completely different level to when I compare him four weeks ago. He is totally back on the right track, and he has the potential to play a big part.
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“Since he was with us in the first team I have backed him more than any other player in our squad.
“It was perhaps the first time he felt there was some setbacks and the way ahead was not always up.
“He was praised last season, and rightly so, for his individual performances but these setbacks and difficult weeks are important in the bigger picture as a player and a person.
“To have criticism, expectation and a lot of talk in the background, not just the player but agents, family and friends, is tough for a young player.”
Farke feels Cantwell will emerge stronger from the experience.
“When you want to lead a group of players you have to lead a group of human beings,” he said. “That is why I have levels and standards and you can’t drop them for any player.
“It is important to be honest, sometimes to communicate more, sometimes even a bit less and at some points I had to leave Todd alone in the last weeks because that is all part of growing up and developing your personality.”