‘They deserve a happy ending’ - Warm words from Mourinho but City fall short again in 2-1 Spurs defeat
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Norwich City’s harsh 2-1 Premier League defeat at Tottenham brought warm words from Jose Mourinho but more cold reality for the Canaries.
Mourinho embraced Daniel Farke at the final whistle before insisting the bottom club 'deserve a happy ending' this season, after another hard-fought duel against Spurs following a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road last month.
Teemu Pukki's penalty had cancelled out Dele Alli's first half opener, but Heung-Min Son slotted Alli's deflected strike to inflict a painful defeat that left City six points adrift of safety.
"I would prefer to get congratulations for the win," admitted Farke. "Jose is a gentleman, an unbelievably experienced coach. He was quite complimentary. It is nice to hear it from a world class coach for the performance of my team.
"It was well-deserved. The compliments are nice, rather than people saying we just look to put the ball into the stand.
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"If you are in this business of football you know what we are trying to do. We are the only self-funded club at this level and everyone knows how difficult it is to work with a young group. But we are competitive.
"Maybe not with results right at this moment but definitely with performances and if we keep going we have a chance to work on this little miracle."
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Mourinho revealed the anecdote in his own post-match press call, although appeared to confuse Farke with his compatriot and ex-Huddersfield chief David Wagner.
"A very important result. Very important three points. Deserved," said the Portuguese. "A word to Norwich. The same I told to Wagner, they deserve a happy ending at the end of the season."
Farke insisted he was proud of his side's efforts.
"We always play to win points and if we get beat then we are disappointed. We are all disappointed in the dressing room. But I can't ask my lads for more," he said. "They left their heart out on the pitch.
"A fantastic away performance against Tottenham without Ben Godfrey or Emi Buendia. They can bring (Eric) Dier and (Gedson) Fernandes on in the second half. Then it is difficult for a squad who is not able to bring quality players in for lots of money.
"We can be proud of the spirit of the lads and what they brought on the pitch."
Todd Cantwell's costly turnover led to Alli's crucial breakthrough, after Norwich had carved out a number of first half chances.
"Todd was top class but he is a young lad in his first season in the Premier League and he took too much risk in a bad area," said Farke. "Young players will make the wrong decisions but both him and team came back strongly.
"But to concede a deflected goal felt harsh. That is the reality. Football is not always fair. You have to grab it and we were not able to do it."