Canaries boss to get his wish with Championship set for return to five substitutes
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Championship clubs have now reportedly agreed a return to five substitutes being allowed during games, after calls for the rule change from managers including Norwich City boss Daniel Farke.
Sky Sports News suggest on Wednesday morning the EFL has voted in favour of the five-sub rule and the new policy will commence on Friday with the West Midlands Championship derby between Coventry City and Birmingham City.
When the English season resumed in June the Premier League and Championship allowed clubs to name nine substitutes and to bring on five, rather than three from seven - although these were restricted to being made during three occasions to try to minimise disruption and avoid time wasting.
That was after a short preparation period of just a few weeks for squads ahead of resuming during the summer months. However, the rules reverted to the usual seven substitutes being named and three being allowed to come on for this season.
That’s despite the season starting a month later than planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic and with a hectic schedule needed - Norwich, for example, have 12 games scheduled for the next six weeks in the Championship.
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National newspaper the Telegraph reported earler in the week the majority of clubs in the second tier had voted informally in favour of returning to five substitutes and that a formal vote to ratify the chance is expected to go through as a formality.
The report goes on to say that the change will come into effect in time for matches across the weekend of November 27-29, which for the Canaries is a home game against Coventry on the Saturday.
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Several high-profile managers have called for the return of five substitutes during recent weeks, including England chief Gareth Southgate and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
City head coach Farke had added his name to those calls ahead of the current international break, speaking ahead of his team’s 1-0 home win over Swansea.
“After the first lockdown we had breaks during games for recovery, we had five substitutes, bigger game day squads with 20 players. It is hard to understand why we don’t do this now,” he said.
“All across Europe they allow 20 players in the game day squad. We said, ‘No we stay with 18. We stay with three subs.’
“We are probably at an advantage, because we are very good in terms of the fitness levels of our players, but I would rather speak about this topic when we are successful and we are the form team in this league.
“I think I am allowed to speak now and highlight the safety and quality and health of the game.
“I understand we have to take some difficult decisions but I am really not sure in some areas.”
Norwich have suffered some injury issues already this season, with Kieran Dowell ruled out after needing ankle surgery after an awkward landing during a 2-2 draw with Preston in September, joining Sam Byram in the treatment room until January as the full-back recovers from the two hamstring surgeries which have kept him out since June.
Onel Hernandez joined them when he needed groin surgery after the 1-0 home loss to Derby in early October and is also expected to return in January.
Left-back Xavi Quintilla has missed the last four games with a hip muscle issue, Christoph Zimmermann returned in the last game after a six-game spell battling a calf problem but Ben Gibson and Lukas Rupp missed that win over Swansea with muscle tightness as precautions, while Todd Cantwell continued to nurse an ankle issue.
Centre-back Grant Hanley pulled out of Scotland duty after hamstring tightness following the game, having been out for three months after hamstring surgery earlier in the year, and Max Aarons dropped out of the England Under-21 squad after a knock to the head, to follow concussion protocols.