Farke wary of complacency ahead of Norwich City's tricky spell
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's next four games are against teams currently in the bottom five but Daniel Farke has warned the Championship leaders must match their lowly opponents' fighting spirit - starting against Coventry on Wednesday night.
Rotherham, Birmingham and Wycombe lie in wait but the first tricky challenge is the Sky Blues, who snatched a 1-1 draw with a late equaliser at Carrow Road in November, at the height of City's injury crisis, but lost 2-0 in Norfolk in the FA Cup third round.
Mark Robins' team have only won one of their last six matches, after their own injury crisis kept out some important players recently.
“I think you have to look at each opponent and there are also different styles. Coventry are a really good possession side and a footballing side who like to play with many tactical players," Farke said of the next four games.
“There are perhaps also some other teams who are fighting against relegation who play a bit more of a direct or physical style, so for that I don’t think you can give a general answer for facing a team fighting against relegation.
“But one thing is for sure, each and every game is unbelievably difficult against every team on this level and I wouldn’t rate a team that is currently in the bottom six as easier than against a team in mid-table who is perhaps not fighting that much with a knife between their teeth.
“I think with a team like Coventry who knew from the first day of the season that they would have to fight against relegation, they are not nervous and struggling with the self-confidence, it’s more like they know exactly what they have to do to stay in this league.
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“For that I think they will try to show a really good reaction and try to play pretty aggressively. Each and every game is difficult, anything can happen – teams sitting in the top positions can sometimes lose a game."
Farke pointed to a perfect example which on Sunday ensured City had reclaimed top spot, when mid-table Barnsley won 2-0 at Brentford, to end the Bees' 21-game unbeaten league run.
He continued: “We have just seen this with Brentford, against a team who had a lot of load in the league and also against Chelsea in the cup, are perhaps not rated as a top-six side, but they were there with a clean sheet win at Brentford.
“This can happen anywhere, especially in a difficult away game, so you have to be fully concentrated in each and every moment in this league. That’s what this league is about, each and every game is competitive and we need a really good performance.”
Farke has stressed in recent weeks that he is not worried about positions in the table at the moment and only that his team remains around the two-points-per-game average which currently has them on target for a likely top-two finish.
He admits that Saturday's 4-1 home win over Stoke has given his players a boost though, ending a four-game goal drought and bouncing back from a 2-0 defeat away to promotion rivals Swansea.
“There’s no replacement for wins, it’s always important for the mood, for the self-confidence and of course for the table," the City boss added.
“But this league is the toughest league in the world, the most competitive league in the world, and it’s all about consistency.
“It’s quite normal that you can’t win 46 games otherwise you would finish the season with 138 points and you could celebrate your promotion at Easter – it doesn’t work like this.
“It’s all about consistency but it’s always a good sign when you are capable after a loss to respond straight away with a win, which we did after the Swansea game.
“So for that, good for the mood, for the confidence, for the table and for our topics.”