Pritchard’s early return gives Canaries boss Farke hope amid six-game winless streak

Alex Pritchard pulls the trigger on his Norwich City comeback against Preston, watched in the backgr

Alex Pritchard pulls the trigger on his Norwich City comeback against Preston, watched in the background by James Maddison. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The early return of Alex Pritchard has been a shining light for City boss Daniel Farke amid the gloom of six Championship games without a win.

Pritchard played the closing stages of City’s 1-1 home draw with Preston on Saturday, returning from pre-season ankle ligament damage ahead of schedule.

Farke took a calculated risk in throwing the 24-year-old into action, after former Canaries boss Alex Neil saw his team cancel out James Maddison’s fine free-kick in the 70th minute.

“On the one hand I thought it was perhaps a little too early but I wanted to give a sign in the last 15 minutes that we would give everything and take a few more risks to win the game,” the German coach said. “I was thinking the guys were so annoyed because of conceding the goal and got the feeling that perhaps it was the right decision.

“I knew that Alex was not there 100 percent in the moment but sometimes he can create something special and we were waiting for this.

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“Thank goodness he was able to play this 15 minutes, it’s good for him on his comeback trail and hopefully he can be there 100 percent pretty soon.”

MORE: City star beaming at his return to action – but doesn’t get his second game in a weekend

Although the former Tottenham man wasn’t able to prevent a seventh straight Carrow Road game without a victory, he could now play a bigger role in Friday’s tough trip to second-placed Cardiff.

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Farke admitted the absence of injured senior players including Timm Klose and Alex Tettey is causing him problems though.

David Freezer’s verdict: Exasperating efforts mixed with memorable moments as calls for patience begin to grate at City

“We conceded a goal out of a set-piece,” he continued. “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, a lot of technical players who are good at passing but in some positions not so grown up.

“We knew that we had to determine this game on our offence scoring goals and there would be perhaps some problems in defending, especially defending set-pieces because with Timm Klose, Alex Tettey and Tom Trybull we are there with a different physical presence.

“We had a lot of young, technical players on the pitch and you have to sometimes accept the opponent is better in this area and they were, to use set-pieces, so we have to accept the draw.”

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