Farke's festive warning to Canaries
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Floodlight failures, epic comebacks, dodgy VAR calls, Burton bore draws. Daniel Farke would not want to be anywhere else than leading Norwich City over the festive period.
The City chief is eyeing a double header at Carrow Road this week against QPR and Barnsley to shake off the disappointment of a rare league defeat at Watford that checked their winning momentum in the Championship.
Farke was asked after the Boxing Day defeat at the Hornets if would rather be back at home in Germany with his feet up enjoying a mid-winter break.
His answer underlined how immersed he now feels in English football, even if the dial has turned again in terms of no fans permitted inside the stadium as tighter restrictions return during this latest stage of the pandemic.
Norwich’s previous three league games had seen 2,000 fans at each home victory but with Norfolk now placed in tier four of the government’s on going response to limiting social movement, the next phase of the club’s promotion push is set to be played behind-closed-doors.
“We are sad. Football is not the same game without supporters, but health and safety are more important,” said Farke. “It is always great to play home or away in front of fans.
"You want those emotions. But we also have a responsibility during these strange times to offer some distraction, to keep going, to give people something else to speak about than just this crazy pandemic.
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“I am here four years. I don’t know how many games that is. I am quite adapted to English football so I know what the schedule is at this time of the year.
"To be honest, it might be harder for me to adapt if I was back in Germany with no games and sitting on the sofa maybe drinking some mulled wine.”
Farke felt Norwich were punished at Watford for dropping their standards. He wants no repeat against a struggling QPR outfit.
“We have to be at our best to win games. If you are 5pc off at this level it can determine the outcome,” he said. “Failing to block the cross or defend the far post for Watford’s goal was a lack of intensity.
“Analyse QPR’s games and you see a team who have dominated many good sides but lack some efficiency. They are a really good possession-based side. They have some quality.
"If they can find this efficiency then their position will improve. We have to be switched on in this league whoever is the opponent.”
City lead the way in the Championship standings but also in terms of possession statistics. But it has to come with a renewed purpose for Farke.
“It is important to move the ball quickly, to be accurate in the passing. That is difficult when a side sits so deep,” he said. “In terms of possession and the number of passes no-one has played more than us this season.
"When I look at Watford you had a home team with 35% possession.
"We haven’t had that for such a long time at Carrow Road and if we did I think there would be some questions – but no accusations, they won the game. It is not about one touch passing either.
"Sometimes two touches is quicker. It might not sound logical to say but if your first touch is really good then you can play that second a bit sharper. These little details can make a big difference.”
Tim Krul (thigh) and Przemyslaw Placheta (hamstring) are expected to miss out again. Farke indicated the Dutch keeper is likely to need the festive period to fully recover from a problem originally suffered in the win at Stoke in late-November.
Placheta had yet to re-join team training prior to the weekend’s trip to Watford. Onel Hernandez (adductor) is back in light training but not an option yet.
Farke did indicate after his team’s defeat at Vicarage Road there are no fresh injury concerns.
“It seems like everyone came through so I don’t expect too many different options with a quick turnaround,” he said. “The likes of Lukas Rupp and Ben Gibson come more into my thoughts now but they will need minutes to be fully back in their rhythm.”