Hanley in the form of his life for City boss
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Grant Hanley is the rock Norwich City’s Championship promotion bid is built on for Daniel Farke.
The Canaries’ skipper has been an ever-present feature in a defence which has kept 15 clean sheets, ahead of Sunday’s test at Sheffield Wednesday.
That prompted Farke to pay Hanley the ultimate compliment as the leaders look to restore a 10-point lead, after wins on Saturday for Watford and Swansea.
“I don’t think he is back to his best, I think he is even better. He is in the shape of his life,” he said. “I have never seen him play better than what he is delivering right now. But I think there is even more to come.
"He is 29 but I hope at the age of 30, 31 he is still in the form of his life. I will demand more, I don’t want him to sit back. I didn’t follow him that closely when he was a teenager at Blackburn but in the last seven or eight years I have not seen him play better.
“Great personality, great leader, great character within the group and fantastic in the dressing room. When you look at him you might not see it but his sense of humour within the group is quite important.
"In the title winning season he was not that much involved but still always there for the team and thinking about the team. He was greedy to play but we played maybe that season with Christoph Zimmermann and Ben Godfrey ahead of him.
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"But he came to me when we won the title and said, ‘coach, you got everything right, your decisions defensively were spot on,’ it showed he was not too proud about himself but leading for the group. Totally the right choice to represent this yellow shirt.”
Hanley’s season could end with a Premier League return and a call up for Scotland’s European Championship squad. Farke insists he would not let his country down.
“I am careful because I am not responsible for the Scottish squad but I would totally back him and I would have a good feeling he was an important player for them,” said his club boss. “He has had his injury issues in the past but I would be confident he would repay the trust.”