City boss pleased to see 'fantastic character' smiling again
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Xavi Quintilla’s loan may not have gone to plan but head coach Daniel Farke is pleased to see the left-back smiling again in a Norwich City shirt.
The harsh three-game ban given to Dimitris Giannoulis for his recent red card brought the Spaniard back into the Canaries team with promotion already confirmed, making his fourth appearance in six months during Saturday’s 3-1 win at QPR.
Quintilla opened the scoring with the help of a mistake from goalkeeper Seny Dieng, unleashing a swerving shot from 25 yards after pushing forward to receive an Emi Buendia pass, scoring his first goal for City.
“I’m pretty happy because he had a really difficult season with all of his injuries,” said Farke.
“He had to play against a really difficult offensive player in Sarr last week (during the 1-0 loss to Watford) and there was a bit of criticism because it was difficult for him, just his second league game within seven months and playing against one of the best offensive players.
“I was quite confident he would respond with a really good performance and he has this technique.
“Of course the keeper would wish to do a little bit better but he has the technique to put a crazy curve on the ball and we always encourage him to be in a position to be there with this strike.
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“It was always a bit difficult for the keeper to save the ball, so I’m pretty happy for him.”
It appears unlikely that Quintilla will be signed permanently from Villarreal but he is set for another chance to impress on Saturday, when victory over Reading would seal the Championship title.
The 24-year-old has made 11 appearances but missed close to two months with a hip problem last year. Greek international Giannoulis is set to be signed from PAOK for around £6million and youngster Sam McCallum is due to return from his loan at Coventry.
Philip Heise is also due to return from his loan in the German second tier at Karlsruher but isn't thought to be in contention for a Premier League chance as he enters the final 12 months of his contract.
“If you’re not in your rhythm you also lose a bit of your confidence against the ball, Farke continued. “He was pretty disciplined and concentrated and Xavi always bring unbelievable calm and composure in possession.
“His technique is outstanding. In terms of his technique, you will hardly find a better player on this level.
“He also has the quality to be there with key passes or crosses, his technique in these moments is great, but also with set-pieces and finishing situations.
“I’m also pleased with his mentality, not to doubt himself, to stay mentally strong after a bit of criticism and to respond with such a great game.
“Also with how much the lads celebrated with him, because he is a fantastic team-mate, a fantastic character and he deserves all the praise, and to be in the spotlight a little bit after a difficult season for him. We are all happy for him.”