The price of failure has risen for Farke
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke opted to go back to the future to deliver a Norwich City reality check ahead of a Premier League test at Burnley.
Farke and his squad know what is coming at Turf Moor on Saturday, but the City head coach would rather embrace that than the alternative he projected yesterday after four years in charge at Carrow Road.
No points and no wins in the top flight is leaving him open to growing criticism, yet Farke feels he could be a victim of his own success.
“I am totally, totally convinced in the way that the club develops, what we are doing and I am fully convinced of what I do, otherwise I would do it in a different way,” he said.
“Maybe it is the price you have to pay for some good work and for success because then the expectations rise. The demands are just higher.
“When I remember the situation four years ago when I walked in, let’s be honest, we were in no man’s land in the Championship.
"The squad was too old, too expensive. We were under unbelievable financial pressure and the infrastructure was not great. We were working more or less with a gun to our head due to this financial pressure.
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"If we had stayed on this level, sold our best players, developed younger players, and let’s say spent four years in the Championship with a much younger squad, maybe in the top 10, not too far from the top six, some people would be happy.
"We would win more games than we lose and we could say we needed this transition period but we had solved all the financial problems and now there was light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe we have over-achieved.
NCFC Extra: Norwich City team news ahead of Burnley
"Now we are in the Premier League and there is moaning we are bottom. Several other clubs would be happy if they would be in this situation.
“We have none of those financial pressures, even in the worst pandemic in a century, and a squad with many younger players, and most under longer term contracts.
"In the last three years, two of those we have played in the Premier League.
"This club has won the Championship three times in history, twice of those under me. If you would have predicted this four years ago everyone would have probably replied, 'Not in our wildest dreams.' But it’s not enough.
"We all want to be successful on Premier League level and we’re totally heading in the right direction, at every level of the club. We don’t want to be bottom.”
Burnley, under Sean Dyche, is the last club you would expect any sympathy. What Farke does expect is a set piece barrage, with four of the Clarets’ five Premier League goals this season coming from that outlet.
“The first topic is not to allow many set pieces,” he said. “Manchester City was the best team in defending set pieces last season but with all due respect to Pep (Guardiola) I don’t think it’s was due to having big physical players, it was more they didn’t allow that many set pieces.
“The better we are in possession the better it is, especially in our own half. But Burnley is definitely one of the best sides, in terms of set pieces.
"They are so fully committed in these moments, even from free kicks in their own half. We are quite aware that this is one of their biggest strengths.
"But I remember the cup tie two seasons ago. We defended all their threats in the air and scored a goal ourselves from a set piece with Grant Hanley.”
Billy Gilmour missed training on Wednesday with a foot issue but Farke was optimistic the Chelsea loanee will be available.
Todd Cantwell (Achilles) and Christoph Zimmermann (ankle) will now aim to return the other side of the international break.
Przemyslaw Placheta is back in training after two months out due to Covid.
Longer term absentee Sam Byram took part in some first team sessions this week but neither are in contention for Burnley.