Hanley will answer City critics

Grant Hanley is Norwich City's defensive rock for Daniel Farke

Grant Hanley is Norwich City's defensive rock for Daniel Farke - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Grant Hanley can handle his Norwich City critics insists Daniel Farke. 

The Canaries’ captain was an inspirational figure in last season’s Championship title win but has been part of a City backline under intense scrutiny in the Premier League. 

Hanley will be a key figure at Everton on Saturday, with his head coach confident he can step up after hesitant outings against Watford and Liverpool in recent days. 

“Yes, he was perhaps involved in some of the goals we conceded. But if someone is asking for his head he won’t lose my trust,” he said. “He is our club captain, he was praised almost on a daily basis last season. He was praised during the Euros with Scotland.

"He is a big leader for us. It is not like we can leave him out and put another young lad in there. You hear it when Teemu Pukki doesn’t score in a difficult game at Manchester City. He is our main man, he is our goalscorer. It is not possible to replace all our senior players with younger players.  

“We need the positive naivety of youth but also the experience and calmness of older players. They know they will come in for more criticism because perhaps we cut the younger players some more slack. Of course if it goes on then you will make changes but it is important to have a good mix. 

"When I see the experienced players are not involved in the best performance of their career there is always that criticism and maybe calls for change.” 

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Farke is under the same levels of scrutiny after five league defeats and a midweek cup exit. 

“If I don’t have that confidence and stay level headed at my age how can I expect young players to do the same?” he said. “It might have been different in my 30s but I have been in charge for 200 games at this club and I have worked in professional football since I was 18.

"You will get tough periods but you have to stay calm and composed. It is not easy but if it was easy everyone would do this. No-one has to worry about my focus. 

“When you lose games then you know the criticism that comes with that is not good for the mood or the confidence. You have to show a bit more leadership but if I started to lose the trust or my balance or if I panicked or completely changed our approach and made 11 changes every game it won’t help.” 

NCFC Extra: Everton v Norwich City team news

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