Daniel Farke was delighted with Norwich’s performance after Nelson Oliveira’s late goal gave City a deserved point against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
After an unbeaten pre-season, City looked to be heading to a first defeat under Farke despite an encouraging performance. But Oliveira’s deft chest-down and finish got Norwich’s season off to a good start.
“I was really full of emotion when Nelson scored and I was passionate too,” Farke said. “I’m really content with the result and am really proud of the lads. It was an away game against one of the strongest opponents in the league with high quality, and we had to do without so many experienced and good players. It was a fair result and it was a really good performance.
“I’m full of compliments for the lads and I’m really proud of them.”
In an open first-half in which both sides missed chances, the Canaries went behind following an unfortunate deflection off Russell Martin. “The first half we had a little bit of bad luck. Fulham were really good in possession and controlled the game in the first half, and they have such high quality in the midfield and on the wing.
“But I think we had the better chances and we should have gone into the break with the lead. It was difficult when they took the lead because they have such quality on the counter, but especially in the second half I felt we dealt with it really well and dominated more and also we had a great chance for Marley Watkins and I think we should have had a penalty. Thank god there was a brilliant move from Nelson, and I felt we deserved to not be beaten.”
Much like pre-season, Farke tweaked the formation throughout the match after starting with three at the back. “We changed it at the end of the first half because Fulham were dominating the game,” he says. “So we tried to mirror them a little bit and to take their possession away was the right decision because we got the game under control.
“Then when we needed to take more risks we changed back to 3-5-2 and that was the right decision too because we had more presence in their box.”
City’s players showed plenty of desire and commitment to get themselves back in the game in the second half, which was particularly pleasing for Farke.
“We had to play without a lot of experienced players, so that really showed the mentality and character of this group,” Farke said. “We know we’ll always be together to fight, and it’s a really good sign for their physical condition that we improved and dominated more throughout the match.
“The lads have earned the benefit of their hard work in pre-season and I want that mentality – to be disciplined and fight for everything. I’m really proud of the boys.”