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Daniel Farke: It was a hard-fought win

29 September 2018

Daniel Farke said his City side fought hard to pick up three points and continue their unbeaten run.

Norwich beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 at home to pick up their fifth win in a row, with Mario Vrancic netting City’s penalty shot in the 86th minute.

And Farke said he is pleased to see consistent results from his team.

“I am very happy, especially in this period as we’ve had a big load,” said Farke. “To have consistency in the results is always difficult but we were there again with brilliant defending behaviour and we didn’t give away any chances.

“It was a hard-fought win because Wigan were full of self-confidence and it was not easy because they concentrate a lot in defending their own goal.

“There were a few decisions in the first half against us otherwise it could have been easier but in the end it was a hard-fought win and I am pleased.”

City were denied a penalty appeal in the first half after Pukki went down in the box, but a second appeal in the final minutes went their way and gave Norwich the victory.

Farke said: “I think it was 100% a penalty [in the first half] and then you have to discuss because the fall was in the penalty box whether it is a red or a yellow card. And if we would have been there with a penalty and went in the lead against 10 men it would have been easier. It is also not so easy, especially for the young lads, to accept such a decision but we kept our nerves and we went for the win.

“Marco Stierpermann was in a really good shooting position three or four times, Teemu Pukki also had some decent situations and in the end I think it was not a brilliant offensive firework but a well-deserved win.

“I think it was a sign of our will today to win this game because in the second situation Stiepermann won the ball back in the opponent’s penalty box and played a really good pass to Pukki and then Teemu was there and wanted to score and the opponent was there to get him out of this position.

“It shows a lot that Teemu could have been there again as the hero and although he should have taken the penalty he said ‘no, I don’t feel comfortable and I want Mario to take this penalty’. It shows a lot about our togetherness and our commitment and about the character of the lads. And when you are there with this commitment and this desire and togetherness thinking more about the group than yourself, then you can reach extraordinary things and at the moment we are able to do this.”

Farke praised his team’s solid defending and said he was delighted to keep a clean sheet.

“In the first 15 minutes in the second half we weren’t struggling because we didn’t give away any chances, but we allowed Wigan to be more in possession in our half,” he said.

“So I got the feeling I had to help a bit more and make a change in this situation and thank god it worked. Louis Thompson and Mario Vrancic had a big impact on our game and also Jordan Rhodes was a big threat because he was able to keep the ball and he bought some space for Teemu to create this penalty. So in general it worked today and we are happy with the win.”

The win takes City up to fifth in the Championship table, but Farke said they won’t be complacent.

“For us it is important that we had a decent start and we won many points,” he said. “Especially when you play with so many young lads it is good you are not under pressure in the positions you don’t want to be. It’s important to already have 17 points and it’s important that we go on. We need at least 30 more points to stay in this Championship and you won’t get that by just relaxing and enjoying yourself too much so we have to win as many points as we can get and then we will see where it ends.”

But Farke said the win was important to give his side a further boost going into next week's games. 

“Derby and Stoke are too of the favourites for promotion and for that it was even more important to have three points today and we can travel in a good mood because we are full of self-confidence and we are there with five wins in a row.

"Derby County had an outstanding transfer summer and they’ve got Frank Lampard as head coach with unbelievable experience in his playing career and we know it’s a big task again. We will travel in a good mood and again try to defend our position and be rebellious again.”

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