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Daniel Farke: Mental strength is vital away from home

12 February 2019

Daniel Farke believes Norwich City's mental strength has been crucial in their terrific away form in the Sky Bet Championship this season.

City have only lost once on the road this year - a 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United back in August - and are currently unbeaten in their last 13 away fixtures.

When asked what has been the key to that form, Farke replied: "Quality in the performances and also the mental strength.

"To be there with a high consistency means there is a big load on the mental side of things, especially with lots of away games.

"We've kept our nerves and we showed big resilience. Especially in away games, we have been so committed and together even when losing.

"We are always convinced we are able to fight our way back into a game and able to score. We have a good balance at the moment between defending and keeping clean sheets and bringing our offensive threats into a game."

City have recently faced a high-pressure period with games against opponents around the top of the league, plus the small matter of the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road at the weekend.

And the Canaries Head Coach is delighted with how his players have coped with the important spell.

"We are all happy and I have big compliments for the players," he added at his pre-match press conference. "We've had so many big and really different tasks in the recent weeks.

"We've had an away game at the [previous] leaders Leeds and were there with a convincing performance.

"Then we had a game against Ipswich who were bottom of the league and we were the heavy favourites. This side tried to break our rhythm but we were also able to handle this.

"We've had a big, big consistency in our performances and also in the results, so for that, my lads deserve big, big compliments because it's been outstanding for such a young side."

Farke's squad will travel to Preston on Tuesday ahead of the Wednesday night fixture and will stay and train in the north west of England for the next few days as they prepare for Saturday's visit to Bolton Wanderers.

Looking at Preston in more detail, the City boss is full of respect for the Lilywhites and believes a tough test is facing his team.

"We are unbelievably respectful [of Preston] because we know that it's going to be the most difficult game we've had in recent weeks.

"We had outstanding games at Leeds, West Brom and against Sheffield United and in the East Anglian derby.

"Now to go to Preston who always play with a big aggressiveness and high intensity - they're a really good side and have some good footballers. 

"They almost pushed into the play-offs at the end of last season. They've only lost once in their last eight games in the league and they have no pressure right now.

"They will be highly-motivated and they have had one game more to recover than us. It will be unbelievably difficult task at Preston and we have to be at our best."

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