Norwich City Head Coach Daniel Farke said his side didn’t stick to their attacking principles in the first-half against Southampton, and that made the difference in Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat.
When they did believe in the philosophy in the second half, the approach paid dividends, he added.
“We are disappointed we have to leave without any points. This game is proof that we have to stick to our principles and our philosophy because I wasn’t happy with our first half. We spoke before the game that we have to be brave to bypass Southampton and control the game with our possession. They are a good pressing side without any doubt, so it’s difficult to control an away game, but that’s what we have to do.
“In the first half, we weren’t able to create chances or dominate this game even though we were more or less solid in open play. We were bullied in the set-pieces. The second half was a great reaction. We dominated the game and were able to create more chances. We brought more bodies closer to Teemu so we could play the final pass and come closer to the goal.
“We would have deserved to drive away with a point because we created a lot during the second half. If we stick to our principles, we are competitive at this level. If not, we have problems.”
Midway through the first-half, City went from four at the back to three, with Ibrahim Amadou slotting in at centre-back alongside Ben Godfrey and Christoph Zimmermann.
“I wanted to change the passing angles to get more control,” Farke explained. “It was slightly better but we weren’t able to get into dangerous areas. We changed in terms of tactics and personnel at half-time but the most important thing is that we played with more bravery and turned back to our game, not just because we were pressed.
“We didn’t have to play a long ball, but play out of the back. Sadly, Sam Byram had two good chances in the last minute and it would have been a precious point, but we have to travel back with nothing. We’re disappointed but we have to learn to play our style from the first second.”
One of those half-time changes was the introduction of Alexander Tettey, who made an impact with his through ball to Teemu Pukki for City’s sole goal of the evening.
“Alex was great in the second half,” the boss added. “Sadly, it was a bit too risky to play him from the start because of a slight problem with his quad. He wasn’t sure if he could fully sprint, but we were 2-0 back at half-time so it was worth the risk.
“He helped us stabilise our game but the whole team showed great character to show such a reaction as a young side. Each and every game is difficult, but we have to be brave, even away and with one day less to recover.”
City now look ahead to another Premier League game at Carrow Road on Sunday afternoon, with Sheffield United the visitors.
“We know it’s not easy to have an unbeaten spell,” Farke said. “We had four points from our last two games. Today, we have to accept the loss. From tomorrow on, we concentrate further on because we want to win points in the next home game and if we perform like we did in the second half, we have all the chances against Sheffield United.”