City boss Daniel Farke believes the Canaries were too soft with their defending as they let slip a lead to draw 1-1 at home to Preston North End.
James Maddison’s brilliant free-kick gave City the lead in the 34th minute, which was fair reward for a bright, high-tempo start to the game. The match evened up after that, and Norwich eventually conceded from a corner.
“I thought it was a better performance than against Barnsley,” said Farke. “We wanted to put more pressure on the opponents and create more chances and for the first half an hour I think we did and we were the dominating team and missed a lot of chances. Then we scored from a brilliant set-piece, but we had problems with crossing situations at the end of the half.”
The warning signs were there for City before Barkhuizen’s 70th-minute leveller, and Farke admitted he wanted to see more aggression from his young side.
“In the second half we spoke about defending more aggressively,” he said. “We also had chances in the second half, but then we concede at a set-piece. Today we were a little bit too soft and naive in our behaviour against the ball – we had to defend it more aggressively.
“But we had a lot of young lads on the pitch and we weren’t so physical today without Timm Klose, Tom Trybull and Alex Tettey. So we tried to determine the game with our offence but we couldn’t score the second goal.”
The point stretched City’s winless run in the league to six matches, and Farke admits it’s been a tough run. “We have some problems with not being brutal enough on the pitch,” Farke said. “But we have a lot of players out, and you have to accept that sometimes with a young team there will be a bit of naivety. In general I think the lads were good with their creating and their pressing but it wasn’t good enough to win the game.
Farke was also disappointed with the late delay in the game when the fourth official had to replace an injured linesman – and a qualified referee had to be found from the stands. The unusual incident resulted in 10 minutes of injury time.
“We had a lot of pressure in the last 15 minutes so it wasn’t easy when there was a 10-minute break,” he said. “It stopped our rhythm, but it is what it is and we had to accept it. Perhaps I’m a little old-fashioned – I thought we could have played with just a referee and two linesmen but they’re the rules and you have to accept it.”