‘England is not as grey as I thought’ - Passlack has no regrets over City loan move
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Felix Passlack admits the meteoric rise of Max Aarons sunk his chances of a starring role in Norwich City’s Championship promotion.
Passlack arrived on loan from German heavyweights Borussia Dortmund 12 months ago, but made only six appearances, including one league cameo from the bench, in the Championship title winning success.
The 21-year-old now awaits to see if he has any future back at Dortmund, however, he has no regrets at linking up with Daniel Farke's squad.
"I went to Norwich with the clear goal of becoming a regular. Max Aarons got his chance early in the season and really used it," he said. "It was clear to me that he had overtaken me. For me it was then waiting until I got my chance someday.
"Unfortunately, that never came because Max continued to perform well and the team was so successful.
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"Of course it was hard to be happy in person. If you are in such an exceptional season and used almost only in the few cup games, then I can not be satisfied with it. However, I was very happy for the team and the entire club. I know what we have done on a daily basis and how we have made people in the region happy.
"Especially at the beginning it was difficult to deal with and to accept the situation. I was very frustrated.
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"That's normal, otherwise I would have missed my job.
"It helped a lot that my girlfriend was with me in England. We talked a lot about the situation. After a while, I thought, 'It's the way it is. You can do nothing but keep pushing, being positive and patient.'"
Passlack, speaking to German sports web site, Spox, revealed Farke tried to bring him to England in his first season in charge - during another frustrating loan stint at Hoffenheim - but there was never any desire to cut short his spell in Norfolk.
"No. I wanted to go through the chapter and not give up," he said. "Also, because I knew that in this league I was able to take a step forward, both physically and in football terms, and in my opinion, I did that. Above all, I have matured through this difficult time. As weird as that may sound now, but that's what I think is very important.
"The second English league is much more intense than the Bundesliga.
"The preparation is much harder. In addition you have many more games, numerous English weeks and of course no winter break. I do not want to say that I found the training extremely exhausting, but it was very demanding. You have to lie on the treatment table quite often and rest the muscles.
"Of course it was not an easy situation for me, but the exchange with him (Farke) was very good.
"That's why, frankly, I got on his nerves. I've often asked him what I can do better. He said I would train well and just keep going until I get my chance.
"He simply had no need to change the starting line up. We had a pretty long winning streak, so the squad for each matchday was basically the same.
"He made positional changes only when someone was suspended or injured. And that was just not the case in my position."
Passlack may not have got the game time he wanted at Norwich, but returns to Dortmund with happy memories of living in England.
"The fact that there are beans and sausages for every breakfast, I was getting used to. Otherwise, I was positively surprised, because England is not as grey as I always thought," he joked. "Norwich has the most sunshine in the country, there are beautiful parks - I liked it there.
"The current state of play is nothing is yet finalised, whether I want to go on loan again or BvB sell me. Of course, this is also related to what BVB is planning with me - and that is currently something that is in the balance.
"There are on-going discussions with a few clubs. If that is not the case, I will start training on July 3 in Dortmund and fight for my place there."