'I have to say I had more than one tear in my eye' - choked Farke on City duo's exit
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke admitted he has had to bite his lip a few times in the run up to what will be the end at Norwich City for Alex Tettey and Mario Vrancic this weekend.
The long-serving midfielders will depart in the summer when their current Carrow Road deals run out, but go with the best wishes of those inside and outside the club - as well as another Championship winner's medal.
Farke paid his tribute on Friday afternoon ahead of the trip to Barnsley.
Here is the transcript
'It feels a bit surreal and special because they were such an integral and important part since I have been here in the last four years. All the decisions we take is in the interests of the club and what we feel is the right way to go. Sometimes we make decisions that hurt a lot.
'I have to say I had more than one tear in my eye when I think about them both. Not just fantastic football players but fantastic personalities. It was a joy and really a privilege to be allowed to work with them.
'Now is probably not the right time to speak about why we had to take this decision, it is more about celebrating their quality and their personality.
'To speak about what they have done for the club. Alex is a Norwich City legend. What a great human being he is and what a privilege to spend more or less each and every day of my last four years with them.
'Maybe only the summer breaks when I didn’t see them.
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"The same with Mario.
"I spoke several times about those doubts in his first year and the criticism and that I must be his father-in-law.
'I was always fully convinced of his quality and that he would help us. Not just the goal at Villa Park when we won the title the first time but also many magic moments like the free kick again Sheffield Wednesday. He won us so many late points.
'This season as well. They will always be in our hearts and our souls. If I am honest I have tried not to be too emotional if I am speaking to the lads these past few days or on the training pitch. I have tried to put a serious face on. Those memories will live with me forever.
'When we made the decision I was quite emotional but you have to try and hide this face in public because the coach should be strong. I don’t know how it will develop at Barnsley. When I think about those two and Xavi Quintilla, another unbelievable human being. But you take decisions you think are right for the club. But these are the hardest decisions as a coach. I hope I can keep my cool.
'Mario was part of a team of legends who wrote history for this club two years ago. Now he was involved in two promotions and winning two titles and he was always a crucial integral part to deliver fantastic goals at crunch periods.
'His football brain is world class. He can feel a pass. You don’t need to speak about his ability from set pieces. Mario will always be welcome and I hope he comes back to Norwich to watch games. I have no doubt he still has a proper future in this game.'