Farke sticks City back on a title diet

Norwich City slipped up against Watford and Bournemouth in recent days but still control their Championship title destiny

Norwich City slipped up against Watford and Bournemouth in recent days but still control their Championship title destiny - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City’s quest for the Championship title means Daniel Farke’s squad is back on salad and water. 

The Canaries’ head coach has a reputation for meticulous planning, and even those late night celebrations last Saturday that greeted promotion had a purpose for the battles ahead. 

City have lost to Bournemouth and Watford on home soil since a Premier League return was confirmed, but Farke is forever looking at the bigger picture. 

“We can't blame or criticise my players at all for the last two defeats because the lads were brilliant during the whole season,” he said. “Maybe it didn’t help us for the Watford game but a night like that will definitely help next season when they are difficult periods; when you want to keep in mind how we celebrated together and how valuable it is to stick together.

"You have to value these moments for the future.  

“By the time all the media work was done (after Bournemouth) I think we were able to leave the stadium at 11:30pm and then my lads started to celebrate. I can confirm that none of my lads was sleeping at midnight.

"I can also confirm that our nutrition was not the best on this night. Of course I would have preferred to send them home with a salad and some pasta but they are allowed to have some chocolate and a burger.

"It wasn’t just green tea and water either, they were allowed a drink.

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"Normally with this schedule of a Saturday and Tuesday game we would never have the Sunday off so of course it makes a difference. But it was not as if Watford played us off the park. It was a tight game. 

“We have drawn a line under it. We are five points clear and in a great position. The big pressure is over. We can only win from this situation.” 

Norwich City defender Dimitris Giannoulis serves the second of a three-game ban for his red card against Bournemouth

Norwich City defender Dimitris Giannoulis serves the second of a three-game ban for his red card against Bournemouth - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Farke will be an interested observer if closest title rivals Watford seal automatic promotion on Saturday with a win against Millwall. 

“Let's say if Watford win against Millwall and they are promoted, they will celebrate for two or three days. But then there's still enough time to recover and to focus on the next game,” he said. “We had this experience two years ago when we were able to beat Blackburn on the Saturday night to get promoted.

"We celebrated for three days, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I give them additional day off to recover. 

"Then from Wednesday onwards we were concentrated on the last game and we were fully recovered, fully concentrated and we had that great win at Villa Park. 

"So the schedule was a bit against us for these last two games, and the fact we played Bournemouth with 10 men for so long after a questionable red card and injuries to key players like Grant Hanley and Teemu Pukki.” 

Daniel Farke is a big admirer of Mark Warburton's work at QPR

Daniel Farke is a big admirer of Mark Warburton's work at QPR - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

City have no fresh fitness worries for a major test against an upwardly mobile QPR under the astute Mark Warburton. 

“QPR is one of the best football sides, and I like the work that Mark has done,” said the City chief. “They are always brave, they are good in possession. Many, many good football players.

"I think Mark is doing an outstanding job. Since we played them, in terms of the form table for the last 20 or 21 games, it is ourselves and Watford top but QPR are in third, and flying under the radar a bit. 

"Everyone is speaking about Bournemouth or Barnsley’s current form but they are right up there in the form table.  

“The start was not perfect and for that they can’t finish the top six, but it's one of the best football sides and we know that especially in the home games they are unbelievably dangerous.

"They had some fantastic results against the top sides. An average performance won't be enough.” 

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