Millwall have got under Daniel Farke’s skin
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Millwall have got under Daniel Farke’s skin since he took over at Norwich City.
A first uncomfortable meeting at the Den ended in a 4-0 league defeat, and arguably an early watershed moment that saw the German restore Alex Tettey to his line up and opt for a more pragmatic approach.
The last Carrow Road Championship meeting still brings a smile, with Jordan Rhodes and Teemu Pukki scoring in stoppage time to turn a sour loss into a staging post in the title winning season.
“Definitely one of my favourite games,” said Farke. “Such an emotional game and those memories will live forever. Especially late goals, they bring the sweetest wins. No-one perhaps remembers the details of beating QPR by four goals or five at Bolton in that season. They don’t live for decades. The Bolton performance was much better.
“It is important to have these special experiences. It was for me a symbol of how we won the title that year. We were not able to blow away every opponent. That was a game for hard work, we had to fight until the end and show the mentality that we have also shown in recent games.
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“Since Gary (Rowett) took over it is not like the typical Millwall game. They still have that physical strength, but they are much more flexible in their style. I feel they have improved a lot, with all respect to the previous Millwall teams. They have players like (Ryan) Woods in central midfield who are capable of running the game. They are not that predictable.
“Before they were so tough to play against but they are playing on a much better level, and they retain the old physical strengths.”
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Farke is looking beyond Millwall’s surprise 3-0 home defeat to Huddersfield at the weekend, which saw Rowett absent from the touchline after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Lions’ boss was reunited with his squad ahead of the trip to Norfolk.
“A more than decent start. They were a bit unlucky with the situation with Gary, with him and his coaching staff more or less out due to the Covid situation,” said Farke. “You can find a solution maybe for one game without the coach but two or three is difficult. Now Gary is back the players can concentrate on football again.
“I wouldn’t over-interpret the Huddersfield result. They are a team who will fight for the top six positions.”
Much like Bristol City, for the Canaries’ head coach, despite a commanding 3-1 win at Ashton Gate.
“We improved our game a lot in the final third,” he said. “It was brilliant, concentrated finishing and passing.
“Marco (Stiepermann), what a pass. Jacob (Sorensen) cutting infield from the wing back to use his passing range was something we worked on. Ben Gibson, another amazing pass, over 50 yards. But also the concentration of the first touch. Top players make that look easy but it wasn’t easy.
“They were world class touches from Teemu (Pukki) and Emi (Buendia).
“We knew Bristol are pretty strong in the centre. You can have an idea but the players have to bring it onto the pitch.”