Up the ante is Daniel Farke’s message to Norwich City squad ahead of Arminia Bielefeld finale
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Daniel Farke predicts Norwich City will have to raise their game to finish a gruelling German tour on a winning note on Friday night against Bundesliga Two outfit Arminia Bielefeld.
Arminia kick-off their domestic season next week and Farke’s depleted troops will again be tested to the limit in front of an expected big crowd at the 26,500 capacity SchücoArena (KO 6pm UK).
City beat MSV Duisburg 2-0 in midweek and it is likely to be the same 16 on duty with Ivo Pinto, Harry Toffolo and Wes Hoolahan still sidelined. Jacob Murphy has completed his move to Newcastle, after initially travelling out with his old team mates, while longer term injured trio Timm Klose, Alex Pritchard and Louis Thompson stayed behind in England.
“We have just the 16 fit players again for the game. That means most of the guys have to take another hard game with many minutes,” said Farke. “For sure, it will be more difficult than Duisburg but we want this challenge, we want this competition. It is the opening of the stadium for Bielefeld, their last game of pre-season. It is not about the results at this stage, it is about preparing for a really hard season and I like what I am seeing at the moment. The players know they have to work hard and that will be the case at Bielefeld and we will fight with all we have. We have to take care a little bit of the load, but this is a training camp.”
Farke has made it clear he wants to foster that fighting spirit and club captain Russell Martin feels the trip has brought a new group closer together.
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“We’ve had some really intense training sessions and as always in pre-season it feels really hectic,” he told the club’s official site.
“All the boys are getting their sharpness up now with the match-time. With the work we’ve put in, it’s been tough. It’s helped the new lads bed in, feel part of the squad and for us to become closer-knit as a team.”
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Bielefeld finished a lowly 15th in the German second tier last season but new captain Julian Borner reportedly spurned interest from the Canaries before pledging his future to the club.
“Of course it was a mega-offer, but with my wife Krissi I decided to stay in Bielefeld,” he told regional newspaper Neue Westfälische. “Especially since our daughter Emma was born, money is not everything. Family is always going to be important.”
• Paddy Davitt will have live updates across all our channels. Norwich City’s final tour game gets under way on Friday at 6pm (UK).