Farke rules out Preston revenge mission
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke admitted he had more than enough to worry about with his own players to focus on a reunion with Preston’s interim boss Frankie McAvoy.
The Canaries’ chief travelled north on Thursday evening with a clutch of his internationals only arriving back in Norfolk hours before departure.
City’s fractured preparations for a game Preston declined to move contrast sharply with McAvoy, who only had one eligible international player away over the break.
Farke briefly worked with the Scot when he first arrived in England, before McAvoy linked up again with Alex Neil at Deepdale. Now he has shot at staking his own claim to replace Neil on a permanent basis.
“If I am honest in the last days it was difficult to think too much about Preston,” said Farke. “I don’t expect many changes because Alex and Frankie have worked together for so long and they stand for a special philosophy. What Alex did over a longer term was to develop year on year.
"You feel for him when someone leaves after a successful time with the club. You never know what goes on in a different club. You have to respect the decisions that are made.
"But what I can say is Alex had done a cracking job since he took over. Preston improved a lot. Always competitive, always aggressive.
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"They came closer and closer to the play offs and lost some important players in the January window. It is always sad when a successful era comes to an end.
“With a new guy in charge there is always that motivation and a feeling of fresh air. Maybe a chance for the fringe players who have not been in the spotlight.
"They have also been able to concentrate on this game for two weeks because they had two away on international duty and one of those is suspended.”
Farke had plenty to say prior to the international break on his desire for the Football League to switch the game, but the City head coach has moved on.
“I don’t blame Preston at all. It is quite normal they concentrate on their own stuff. If they play us on the Friday they have a better chance for a positive result,” he said. “You can talk about fair play but each club has got a responsibility to themselves.
"I have had my say on what the EFL should have done when it was possible to change the fixture.
"I didn’t think it was fair in terms of the integrity or the quality of the competition, let alone the mental health and wellbeing of the players. The focus now is on dealing with it and grinding out a result.”
A task made even harder with Christoph Zimmermann (hamstring) joining fellow centre back Ben Gibson (ankle) on the sidelines.
Lukas Rupp (hamstring) and Adam Idah (hernia) are also unavailable as City strive to overcome adversity and maintain a furious pace at the top.
“Adam has had his surgery but he is not ready to go again,” said Farke. “I remember Ben Godfrey had a similar injury and he played a game after 10 days. Adam is still struggling a little bit and his body needs more time to adapt to the surgery.
"Once he is back on the training pitch it should be quick. Definitely not for this game or Tuesday, and Lukas is a similar timeline. Maybe back for Derby. He is doing some individual running stuff.
“We want to bring this over the line. We are in a fantastic position and the lads need to protect that. I am not worried about whether we can hold our nerve, I am worried about putting 11 players on the pitch. We are capable of lifting the trophy and we can handle leading from the front.
"We have had pressure games in the last 10 and we picked up 28 points to stay unbeaten. We were able to turn a game at Sheffield Wednesday, win a spotlight game against Brentford. We are in a great position. This is the crunch time and you have to grind out results.
"We are under difficult circumstances for this game but we are motivated. Three points is the target, one point is not a bad result either.”