Farke on why half measures will not do against Benitez
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke has never met Rafa Benitez professionally, but the Spaniard’s reputation and attention to detail prompted him to warn his Norwich City players any fresh vulnerability will be punished.
Benitez embellished his coaching pedigree in this country across Stanley Park at Liverpool, but is the latest manager trying to rouse one of English football’s ‘sleeping giants’ in Everton.
A bright start for the Toffees came to a halt with a 3-0 Premier League defeat at Aston Villa last weekend and then a League Cup exit to QPR.
Norwich won on Farke’s previous visit to Goodison Park and head to Merseyside in a quest for their first league points of the season, in a start which has highlighted both defensive issues and a lack of cutting edge.
“You have to be good defensively because there is no chance you score five goals and win 5-4 the way he sets his teams up,” said Farke. “We have to be spot on in this behaviour, also good in keeping the ball because they are sharp on the counter.
"You have to be precise in the final third because they won't give our attackers much space.
"No, we haven’t met before. I didn’t have the pleasure so far but his record speaks for itself. He won so many important games in his career and his teams are always so tough to beat, so well structured and it is not easy to open them up and create chances.
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“A top class side who will definitely finish in a high position at the end of the season.
"They had some impressive early results and they will be a bit disappointed with their last league and cup games. I am sure they will be highly motivated to show a reaction.”
Farke now demands the same following a dire 3-1 home league defeat to Watford compounded by a fractious reaction from some of those who stayed to the bitter end at Carrow Road.
“There is no panic. We believe if we can improve in small margins we can start to win points,” said the City boss. “You hope you can steal a point or a win from somewhere in the opening four games.
"But a home game against a newly promoted side is a match you have to win to stay in this league.
"What I would say is the first four games does not help the mood or the confidence, especially of the younger players.
"Perhaps we went into the Watford game too motivated and we left ourselves open to the counter attacks.
"You could say we are three points behind our target now and Everton is a chance to get back on that plan.”
Norwegian international Mathias Normann made his City debut against the Hornets and is expected to be in contention after a knee issue saw him rested for a cup defeat to Liverpool.
Farke revealed on Friday Milot Rashica and Josh Sargent have also been struggling with muscular problems this week.
“A little question mark around Milot because the last two days he was not able to train with his adductors. I am carefully optimistic because the tests we did were good,” he said. “Mathias missed the cup game with a knee issue.
"Mathias was complaining of a few problems before the Watford game so we didn't want to take any risks with the cup but on Wednesday he was back in the main part of team training.
“The same with Josh, who also had some muscle issues and was doing some individual training. He had these problems when he came back from international duty.
"But he was in such a good shape against Watford and so important for our game we want him to be involved.”
Todd Cantwell remains unavailable for personal reasons. Christoph Zimmermann (ankle) and Przemyslaw Placheta (Covid) are on track to re-join training at the start of next week.
NCFC Extra: Everton v Norwich City team news