Farke’s warning as Klose gets ready to answer City’s SOS

Timm Klose has a major role to play in Norwich City's defining Premier League push Picture: Paul Che

Timm Klose has a major role to play in Norwich City's defining Premier League push Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Timm Klose must ride to the rescue for Norwich City’s defining Premier League run-in after injured duo Grant Hanley and Christoph Zimmermann were ruled out for the season.

Klose’s last league start came in January 2019, following his own long term injury problems, but the Swiss international will partner Ben Godfrey on Friday at Carrow Road in Southampton’s behind closed doors resumption. (KO 6pm)

Head coach Daniel Farke delivered another gloomy defensive injury bulletin on the eve of the Saints’ visit, and cautioned Klose should not be expected to carry the burden of shouldering City’s relegation bid.

“All I say is Timm alone cannot win the games for us,” he said. “But Timm has a pretty important role in the fight. Let’s not put too much pressure on him. But he is highly motivated, he is in a top class shape and I totally trust him.

“He is a great leader, a great lad and so important for our group. We need Timm Klose and we hope he can deliver.

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“We have to be realistic as well. His last appearance in the starting line up in a league game was Brentford in January 2019. Right now, we enter a period of 10 games in five weeks, and more, if we reach the FA Cup final.

“You would prefer to have more options in this position. I can’t feel sorry for myself or the squad. But the defensive injuries have been a key topic all season.

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“Timm is our most experienced player on this level and he was out for all the season, pretty much, following a brutal tackle in a cup game from a player in the fourth tier.”

Farke confirmed on Thursday Hanley will undergo surgery on his hamstring this weekend and faces a minimum three months on the sidelines, while Zimmermann and Sam Byram have suffered major setbacks in their own road to recovery.

Both are currently undergoing a course of injection therapy for hamstring-related problems, with Farke admitting the best case scenario is a pre-season return.

“We have some fears if we are honest,” said the City chief. “We hope this therapy helps. If so, Christoph has a great chance to be back for the new season. If not, perhaps his hamstring needs another surgery, and a pretty complicated one.

“Two or three times we have tried to involve him in team training but his body is not able to handle the load. He has chronic problems with his lower back and his hamstring tendon.

“The same with Sam. His hamstring is absolutely fine but his body appears to have reacted to the screw that had to be inserted. So we have to get rid of a cyst. Again, back for pre-season if it works.

“If not, we have to begin another process of taking out the screw and maybe five or six months out.”

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