‘The performance was much better than the last home game’ – Farke felt missed chances cost Canaries victory against Preston

James Maddison heads for Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke, after opening the scoring against Pre

James Maddison heads for Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke, after opening the scoring against Preston North End at Carrow Road on Saturday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke admitted Norwich City had enough chances to beat Preston at Carrow Road but that ‘naive’ defending has proved costly for his injury-hit team.

James Maddison’s wonderful free-kick in the 34th minute was cancelled out after Tom Barkhuizen flicked home from close range after a corner – conceded after poor play from Christoph Zimmermann – for North End.

The visitors had hit the bar in the first half but Wes Hoolahan and Josh Murphy both went close early in the second half – as the Canaries saw their home run without a win stretch to seven games.

“It is not my dream result because I want to win this game but we were struggling totally today with injury problems and I knew it would be a hard game,” Farke said.

“I think in general the performance was much better than the last home game. The game was perhaps a bit wild but that is exactly what we wanted in comparison to the Barnsley game (also 1-1) because we wanted to risk more, have more movements.

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“We knew that sometimes we would concede chances on the counter but that’s exactly what we want because we want to score more and create more chances.

“In the first half, especially the first 30 minutes, we were totally dominating, created a lot of chances and missed several chances again, then scored again with the amazing set-piece of James Maddison.

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“I think the last 15 minutes of the first half we had problems with defending, they had two crosses and big chances, hit the crossbar, but we spoke about the situation and I was pretty sure we would be able to sort this out and that we could go on and score the second goal, which would be determining in the game.

“There were some really good chances, the biggest probably Wes Hoolahan 10 metres out in front of the goalkeeper and after that Josh Murphy out of 12 metres when the goalkeeper was on the ground, if we score in this situation we would win, 100 percent.

“But we didn’t, we conceded a goal out of a set-piece. I could accuse that we were too soft before the set-piece, we were too soft or naive to defend this situation, but when I look at my starting line-up we had a lot of young lads on the pitch.”

The game ended up finishing around 15 minutes late due to an injury to linesman Mark Jones, leaving no fourth official.

However, after a lengthy stoppage, City fan David ‘Spud’ Thornhill, an EDP columnist, stepped forward to use his qualified referee status to allow the game to continue.

The officials could have restarted without a fourth official if necessary but preferred to put a call out for an emergency substitute, leaving the crowd both amused and bemused.

“I was a bit annoyed about the situation because we were drawing 1-1 and in the last minutes we wanted to put pressure on to win the game and it’s not so easy when you’re not in your rhythm,” City’s head coach continued.

“The opponent was able to recreate and we had to wait 10 minutes for a free-kick in a good situation, the free-kick comes in and then another break of two minutes but it is like it is with something like that.”

He continued: “I’m a little bit old fashioned. Thirty years ago there was just a referee and 10 years ago if there was just a referee and two linesman you could play football, I would think that sometimes it is possible to play nine minutes of football without a fourth official but it is like it is.

“Times are changing and we have to accept the rules.”

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