City boss explains Emi and Onel absence in tour finale
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke’s ‘no risk’ strategy left Emi Buendia and Onel Hernandez on the sidelines for Norwich City’s German tour finale against SV Darmstadt.
Both attacking players sat out the double header with minor groin issues, as Farke opted to focus on the bigger picture ahead of the Championship kick-off.
City fly home after a light warm down session on Sunday morning following a 3-2 win and a 0-0 draw in two full scale practice matches at the club’s training complex on Saturday.
“The plan was to give them game time because with Emi especially he is going to be suspended at the start of the season but when he woke up he felt some pain in his groin,” said Farke. “Our physios recommended it would be too risky to play him and he will be out for two or three days.
“If we did risk it, it could be three to four weeks and even if he is not available for the first games you don’t want him to miss that length of training. It’s not a major concern.
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“The same with Onel. He was training with us on Friday and he has been fantastic in pre-season but we will need him at Luton so no risks. If it was a Champions League final he could have played.”
City picked up friendly victories over SC Verl and Dynamo Dresden as well during a week-long stay but the real business begins this Saturday in a League Cup first round tie at Luton Town.
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“Straight after the final friendly we had a short meeting and I gave them many compliments,” said Farke. “Firstly for the competitive nature of the games they played but the fitness levels and how far we have come in 12 days - in terms of the mood and spirit. If you had asked me 12 days before you could guarantee this type of outcome, with four wins and a draw and four clean sheets, I would have said we had to be careful.
“I have the feeling it couldn’t be any better at the moment. The only thing is it doesn’t matter when the league starts. You can have a horrible pre-season and start well in the league and the other way around.
“It won’t help us one per cent for the first game. But all you can do is prepare in a perfect way and we are heading in the right direction.
“We had so many setbacks last season it is not bad to be five unbeaten, but there are still things I can moan about.
“It was not necessary to concede these late goals because it felt more like a 4-0, 5-0 game. We were a bit sloppy in these moments. But the lads have been at it for 13 days.”