Slashing blade is not Daniel Farke’s style at Norwich City, ahead of Fulham debut
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke will not let emotion cloud his judgement as he prepares for a first brush with English football’s gruelling Championship.
The City head coach takes an injury-ravaged squad to highly-fancied Fulham on Saturday looking to get his reign off to a positive start.
Farke left Borussia Dortmund this summer to become the Canaries’ first overseas managerial appointment, but the German insists he must avoid getting caught up in the significance of the occasion.
“We are all human beings. We all feel it in our hearts. We love this game otherwise you can’t do this job so I am excited but as a coach you don’t perhaps have the same excitement,” he said. “I am looking forward to standing on the pitch at Fulham. The players can be more emotional and passionate. You think more about perhaps the problems and the injuries and what can happen. The coach has to have solutions and think with his head. Football is always the same. I am too long in business and I have this situation before when I have joined a new club and we are looking forward to the first game with new guys and new surroundings. I am not so excited about it. For sure, it is a little bit special to have this first game in England and feel the stadium atmosphere.”
Farke is well aware of his new club’s wretched winless run at Craven Cottage, that stretches back to 1986, but there will be no major motivational speeches on the eve of battle.
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“Normally you concentrate on the main topics and remind the players of those but you also have to reach the heart and the head,” he said. “The first game they will be nervous and highly motivated so probably you have to calm them down a little bit. It is a spontaneous thing. You have to feel what they need in the moment.
“It is important not to be predictable so it will differ. I have had coaches who were there with the knife before kick-off and cut something to say, ‘You have to be sharp like this knife’. I like the emotion and passion but you don’t have to be too ridiculous.”
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Fulham rival Slavisa Jokanovic is wary of the Canaries.
“Norwich are one of the teams, like us, who want to be a Premier League team next season,” he said. “They are a quality team with many important players.
“I remember the last game we played at Craven Cottage against them and the many problems that (Cameron) Jerome gave us. We must be careful about many players. We checked their pre-season, they used different styles, with three at the back, sometimes four at the back. We have an idea of what we can expect.
“It’s a new coach, extra motivation for the Norwich players too, but we are motivated to play in our stadium in front of our supporters. We showed them in the past we can play good football and we want to repeat that, or be at a better level if possible.”