Daniel Farke expects a close encounter when his Norwich City side visit The Den to face Millwall on Saturday in the Sky Bet Championship.
Millwall have endured a difficult start to life back in English football’s second-tier and they are currently second from bottom in the league table.
City meanwhile are hoping to carry on their momentum from their midweek Carabao Cup victory over Charlton Athletic on Tuesday.
“It’s always the same when you play a team who has just been promoted,” said Farke, addressing the local media at Friday’s pre-match press conference. “They always fight to stay in the league, they are always there with a big togetherness and a big will to get some points.
“They are a really physical team and will be really emotional so it’s important for us to be awake and win the second balls because they often try and win the second balls and then use lots of counter actions. So we have to control the counters.
“I think it will be a game with a high intensity so it will be good if we can control the game. We have to be awake from the first second because they are a team that always works very hard and fights together.
“When you watch their first few games, they had two really close draws and then they had a crazy game against Ipswich. I expect a really close game tomorrow but we want to improve our situation and get a good result before the international break. That’s what we’re planning to do.”
Farke touched upon what he would like his team to improve on after their win over Charlton, saying: “We deserved to beat Charlton and there were lots of topics that I was content with. But I think we have to work a little bit more on our rhythm because it’s a very important part of our game.
“I want us to fight when the opponent has the ball but I also want us to relax and recreate when we have the ball. In the last few games, I’ve had this feeling that we were too hungry to score. We have to change a little bit our balance and rhythm against the ball.”
The City boss also showed his awareness of what it’s like to be a visiting team at The Den and said he’s expecting an “emotional” atmosphere on Saturday.
“All the guys have told me I will probably learn some new English words! I’m prepared for this and I like the good atmosphere, I enjoy when you go to places with emotion.
“Normally for a footballer and a competitor, it’s nice to play against a whole stadium. It will be a special atmosphere.”