City duo respond to critics
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City defenders Dimitris Giannoulis and Grant Hanley proved their mettle in battling Burnley displays following early season criticism.
Both were influential in a 0-0 Premier League Turf Moor draw after a difficult opening to the campaign. City boss Daniel Farke recently launched a staunch defence of his captain, following some rocky league and cup displays, while Giannoulis' previous top flight start had come in August.
Farke replaced the Greek international with Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams, following a testing 45 minutes at Manchester City where he admitted his defensive work was not up to scratch.
But there were no complaints at Burnley, and the Canaries' chief wants the same again when the pair return from international duty.
“Excellent performance from Dimi,” he said. “He made a few mistakes in the earlier games due to his positioning defensively. He had to wait for his next chance but going forward he was excellent and so important to help us develop our game.
"Good movement up front and solid in terms of his defending.
“Grant was a rock when the crosses came in. He also had to handle lots of criticism in the previous games, so many compliments for that performance. Our team was fully committed, full of intensity.”
City certainly withstood the physical barrage, with Hanley surviving one of two first half penalty shouts involving Matej Vydra for the irate home fans and players.
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Clarets’ chief Sean Dyche felt afterwards his side were denied a clear spot kick.
“Sean is always talking about don’t give soft penalties away and you got the feeling every time a Burnley player went down there was a call for a penalty,” said Farke. “He has a very smart, experienced side who know they need to use their fans to get on the back of a referee.
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"For me those incidents were nowhere near a penalty. But if the referee maybe feels he has to repair a decision you worry they might give one, but he didn’t lose the nerve.
"If there was a question in any of those incidents then you can be sure VAR would have advised the referee to take a look.
“It was a difficult game for the referee in a spicy atmosphere, with the fans moaning. But no complaints from me about Burnley’s behaviour. This is what a smart side should do - try to get a penalty in some situations.
"I was quite pleased my players didn’t lose the nerve.”