Daniel Farke said today’s defeat is a difficult one to accept after watching his City side put on one of the best first half performances he has seen under his leadership.
Derby County came from behind to beat Norwich 4-3 at Carrow Road ending the Canaries’ unbeaten run, and Farke said his team deserved to take points from the game.
He said: “It is unbelievably disappointing to lose such a game. I think in the first half we played probably our best game since I have been in charge and we were so much on the front foot. Derby had no chances and we were in the lead 2-0, it was a question of the game already being done at half time.
“But like I always mention, sometimes in football small situations can change the world and this is what happened. Close to the half-time whistle we were sloppy twice in defending set pieces or the second ball after a set piece and we conceded out of these two goals and for that we went into half-time with a draw. It is hard to accept then with what happened in the second half that we were not able to win this game.
“I didn’t get the feeling that in those moments that we were protecting our own goal as if it was our own life and this is what you have to do in each and every second. I got the feeling that in the second half we needed a few minutes to come back into it, and from minute to minute we put more and more pressure on Derby and it was totally deserved that we went in the lead again.
“Sadly, we had a break because of the floodlights and it took our awareness level away. I don’t want to use it as an excuse, it is like it is and we had two situations where our defending was not good and we conceded the goals. Even after that the reaction was good and we had unbelievable chances to score again a late equaliser but today is one of those days where you have to accept it.”
The game was put on hold for 15 minutes after one of the sets of floodlights on the Regency Security Stand failed, forcing both teams to return to their dressing rooms. However, Farke said it is not an excuse for conceding another two goals.
“When there is a situation you have to stay switched on and I got the feeling that in that moment we had the momentum of the goal, the stadium was celebrating, Derby were totally annoyed and we were totally on the front foot,” he said.
“I’m pretty sure if we played further on we would have won this game, but when there is a situation you can’t influence you have to deal with it and we didn’t do this in the perfect way. We can’t make excuses, it killed us a bit this break but we should have done better in the two situations after the break.
“In general, it was an unbelievable performance, especially the first half. We dominated a side like Derby who are one of the favourites for promotion, and this was without several of our key players. The workload, the commitment and the togetherness were again outstanding and also the way we want to play football was outstanding.
“But this sport is not always fair, and because of the small mistakes and a bit of sloppiness in defending the set pieces, there were just five minutes in each half but those five minutes cost us the points today. I can’t praise the lads enough for their performance, but we also have to speak about those five minutes in each half.”
Norwich once again threw everything they had at Derby until the final whistle, and were unlucky not to bring it level again.
Farke said: “Although it was difficult to deal with us going down 3-4, we invested everything and had big chances. Scott Carson was there with a brilliant save against Todd Cantwell and then the biggest chance was four-yards out for Jordan Rhodes when he hit the crossbar, so I think we deserved much more, and would have deserved more than just one point.
“What the lads have done, especially in the last weeks and last months, has been outstanding and I just have compliments for them. The spirit, the commitment and the desire they show in each and every game, but also the class of football they play.”
Farke’s side will have just a few days to recover before facing their next challenge against Brentford on New Year’s Day.
The City boss said: “There is no reason for the players to put their heads down and play further on with less confidence. Sometimes you get a setback although you don’t deserve it and it’s important that you keep your head up and believe in what you are doing and that is exactly what we will do.”