'A sucker punch' - Farke on Preston pain and Buendia injury fears
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Daniel Farke admitted Norwich City were hit by a sucker punch in a 1-1 Championship draw at Preston that saw star man Emi Buendia suffer an ankle injury.
Buendia opened the scoring before Brad Potts’ deflected 95th-minute equaliser at Deepdale denied City the win.
The Argentine had already departed by that point following a series of kicks to his ankle, and Farke is already concerned about his availability for the Easter Tuesday visit of Huddersfield.
The depleted Canaries travelled without Max Aarons (ankle) and Dimitris Giannoulis (fatigue) following a gruelling international period.
“I am more concerned about him than Max or Dimi for Tuesday. When the referee is not prepared to protect him I have to do it,” said Farke. “He got two hits on his ankle and it was swollen at half time and full of blood. I wanted to substitute him then.
"But he said, ‘No boss, leave me on. I want to help the team.’ Even in the second half he tried to keep going. But he got another hit and was not able to walk.
“Dimitris looked like a Zombie on Thursday when he arrived at the training ground. He finished playing at midnight (for Greece), didn’t sleep and travelled for eight hours. It was a bit easier for Max and Oliver Skipp. They got home (from England Under-21 duty) at 4:30am and were able to sleep.
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"Olly was able to be in the squad but Max was limping around at Colney after a hit on his ankle. He had a big bruise. It was too painful. No major concerns. We hope it settles down and he is fine for Tuesday.”
Farke handed teenage centre back Andrew Omobamidele a full debut and the young Irishman was unfortunate to see Potts’ late strike go through his legs to deceive Tim Krul.
“We are so disappointed to concede a sucker punch in the last moment of the game,” said Farke. “Once the dust has settled a valuable point in strange circumstances. We remain unbeaten.
"We are a point nearer where we want to be. But football can be cruel. You can concede out of nothing. I have to praise my lads to show such a mentality in these circumstances.
“But we cannot believe how we have not won the game. We were 1-0 up in the first half, in the second half they didn’t have one chance. We created so many chances and my feeling is we missed too many. We had chances to kill the game. But then the other thing is the added time.
“He put up four minutes and after four minutes Tim Krul clears the ball. But no final whistle. Perhaps in this moment we were too sure.
"We could have put pressure on the ball, been sharper in the duel and then the unlucky situation that a strike on the goal takes two deflections and goes through Andrew Omobamidele’s legs. Football can be the most unfair sport in the world.
“My young lads will learn from these 20 seconds. Whether you expect the final whistle or not you have to play. I got the feeling the referee felt sorry and apologised because it is hard to explain how he played more than four minutes.”