Sky Blues have already earned Farke's respect
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Coventry have earned Daniel Farke’s respect, after causing Norwich City problems twice already this season - ensuring the Canaries will not underestimate the Sky Blues this evening.
Mark Robins’ team snatched a late equaliser at Carrow Road in November, with Max Biamou earning a 1-1 Championship draw when City were at the height of their injury crisis, with Tim Krul, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki all among the absentees and with Emi Buendia suspended, leaving Marco Stiepermann to persevere as a lone striker.
Having been promoted from League One last season, it was a big point for the visitors, and they also forced Dan Barden into a succession of saves as they lost 2-0 in Norfolk in the FA Cup third round in January, after early goals from Kenny McLean and Jordan Hugill.
After one win in their six league games since that cup loss, tonight’s hosts are hovering just above the relegation zone after a 3-1 loss at Cardiff on Saturday – but they did recently hold Watford to a 0-0 draw at St Andrew’s, having also drawn 0-0 with Swansea and beaten Reading 3-2 at home earlier in the campaign.
“In the cup game we had a really good start, we were more or less comfortable in the lead, a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes and then controlled the game,” Farke recalled.
“But even in the 70 minutes after they showed that it’s not easy to create chances or to score against them because they are a good side, a good footballing side and always quite competitive.
“They have also had some really good results against really good teams and also right now I totally value their work there. When you watch their games they always play with lots of enthusiasm and spirit on the pitch.
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“I like this a lot, I think they have a great chance to stay in this league. Although perhaps in the beginning of the season they were a bit the underdog, I think they have proved they are a really good football side.
“Especially in their home games, they are fighting against relegation and especially you know you need to win points in the home game. I think they spoke quite honestly that they were not happy with their last game and they want to show a response and to show more aggression.
“I think they will fight with a knife between their teeth and we expect an unbelievably difficult task for us, not just in terms of their aggression and attitude to fighting with a knife between their teeth, but it is also a really good footballing side with quality.
“For that we need a really respectful and focused performance.”
One player former Canaries striker Robins will definitely be without if left-back Sam McCallum, with the 20-year-old ineligible to face his parent club.
Signed from Coventry in January last year after impressing in League One, in a deal which could reportedly be worth around £3.5million eventually, McCallum remained on loan initially but joined up with Norwich last summer.
However, after featuring during pre-season and making his debut during the 3-1 loss at Luton in the League Cup, he returned to Coventry following the loan signing of Xavi Quintilla. So far this season he has one goal and one assist from 25 Championship appearances.
“We are quite pleased with his development,” Farke continued. “In the beginning he was struggling a little bit to get enough game time in our preferred position for him, as a left wing-back or a left full-back.
“He has also played several times on the right wing-back position and also in the beginning he spent some time on the bench, but for months now he has been a regular player for them, has got many minutes and good performances.
“Also playing for a side which has to defend quite often is good for his development. I think he has made good progress and it is definitely a good choice for us to send him there – and also a good choice for Coventry because I think he definitely think he has delivered with solid and reliable performances."