Consistency is key focus for Canaries boss
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It’s tight at the top in the Championship but Daniel Farke isn’t interested in how potential promotion rivals are performing just yet – as his Norwich City players continue to chase consistency.
Winning 2-1 at Blackburn thanks to a Teemu Pukki brace kept the Canaries three points clear at the summit but with the four teams directly below them all winning as well, Farke’s team are still only four points ahead of fifth-placed Reading.
“I don’t pay any attention, it’s not important where you are after 18 games,” the City boss said after victory at Ewood Park. “You have to be there after 46 games, you never know who will be in a good position then. That’s quite normal.
“Sometimes in this relentless league you lose a game or draw a game and it’s not a massive step, it’s more about consistency and to keep going, this is what my lads are doing at the moment.
“We all knew, we are not naïve, that it would be an unbelievably difficult away game for us. They (the players) are also pretty happy with this and they are also allowed and deserve to be happy because it is a tough week again for us.
“With a game on Wednesday evening and then you have to travel back and be spot on again on Saturday. They were pretty pleased with this and, again, many compliments.”
Farke was able to introduce Todd Cantwell, Kenny McLean and Jordan Hugill from the bench as the Canaries ground out the win against an ambitious Blackburn team, after the trio’s recent injury problems.
It’s hoped that the injury crisis will continue to ease this week, with goalkeeper Tim Krul aiming to be in contention for the trip to Reading on Wednesday and Lukas Rupp for the home clash with Cardiff on Saturday.
“It was a bit easier for me today in comparison to the last games because Todd and Kenny, after their injuries, they had at least three or four days in training so we thought we were okay to bring them in for more minutes and they can help to influence the game,” Farke explained.
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“For the lads that have to deliver every three days, you would like to rotate a bit more during this period but our hands were tied in the last games.
“Of course Mario Vrancic is not the youngest any more, he had to deliver 90 minutes and was crucial, had to run a lot (during the midweek home win over Nottingham Forest), so it was then good that we could influence the game a little.
“The same for Josh Martin, he is more or less in his debut weeks and it’s not easy for him to handle the load on this level.
“With Jordan Hugill I was not 100 per cent sure even before the substitution if he really feels alright, I got the green light from the doctors but we still have to be a bit careful.
“He said ‘boss I’m buzzing, throw me into the duels for the last five or six minutes’ and each day helps right now. We have four days between the games, our injury situation eases up a little bit and I was pleased I could influence the game a bit more.
“I haven’t checked it but I think we are probably one of the teams with the most goals and assists from the bench, we have influenced the game a lot and all credit goes to the players.
“Todd had a fantastic opportunity to score and Marco Stiepermann a fantastic opportunity to score. I think there was also a penalty incident that Todd was involved with, so these players can influence the game.
“We could have made our lives a bit easier if we could have used these chances or our chances in the first half. But all in all I have to say I’m pretty pleased with a pretty valuable win against a really good side.”