Farke wants midfielders to step up and help end City's goal drought
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Emi Buendia will complete his suspension as Norwich City take on promotion rivals Swansea on Friday evening and Daniel Farke wants his midfielders to step up and fill the creative void to ensure Teemu Pukki isn't left isolated.
The Canaries have been held to goalless draws by Middlesbrough and Millwall in the past week and the third-placed Swans are another team that play with a five-man defence. It works for them as well, with the meanest defence in the Championship conceding just 15 goals.
“We need to bring as many people as close to Teemu as we can, in order to be there with key passes for him," City's head coach said of the leaders' intention to end a three-game spell without a goal.
“Teemu and also Przemyslaw Placheta with his pace, they are not the players who play the key pass themselves, they need the players to pass to them who can bring them into action.
“I got the feeling, especially during a few periods during the Millwall game, that our players who can deliver in this role dropped a little bit too deep and were too far away from Teemu and also from Przemek, in order to set them free with a penetration pass or an assist.
“This will be one of the key topics, to create a bit better. We are always better when we have players like Marco Stiepermann, with a blind understanding with Teemu Pukki, or Emi Buendia on the pitch because he assists most of Teemu’s goals.
“It will be a topic for our other midfield players to get into this position where they can give him these key passes and find solutions.”
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One of those players is Todd Cantwell, whose fine form was disrupted by a minor injury causing him to miss the 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Barnsley prior to the draws with Boro and Millwall.
“It’s not easy for a player when the rhythm is broken a little bit, in the games before the Barnsley game he was fantastic and more or less there two times with a man-of-the-match performance," Farke said of the England Under-21 international.
“The Middlesbrough game you could see that he was struggling still a little bit, not with the back or hamstring problem but he lost a bit his rhythm because he had also missed a few training sessions.
“On the back of this Middlesbrough game where he had to work a lot because we played in underload (due to Buendia's red card) for a long time, then to deliver at Millwall was also not that easy.
“He knows he was not that effective and it wasn’t his best performance but again he is also still a young player and one day he will have this consistency.
“It’s quite normal that you can’t be always outstanding like in the two games before. It’s always like when he is also of a proper age then he will learn a little bit more that when it’s perhaps not his best day, then to be there with a seven out of 10 performance and not have that gap between top performances and perhaps a poorer performance.
“But it’s not a problem at all, Todd is really focused right now and it also helps right now that he is from day to day back a bit more in his rhythm. I trust that he can be there and deliver with a good performance.
“He is pretty focused at the moment but also for him at this level it is not easy to be outstanding in each and every game. I hope it will be one of his best days and he can then be a really key player in the offence and create a lot, perhaps score or assist and create chances.”