Daniel Farke said he believes both his City side and Saturday’s opponents West Brom are much improved since their first meeting at the start of the season, with both teams fighting for points at the top of the table.
Norwich will travel to the Hawthorns to face the Baggies for the second time this season, with City narrowly losing out on the points in a 4-3 defeat at Carrow Road back in August.
Reflecting on that last meeting, Farke said: “My feeling was that West Brom were struggling to adapt to the league in the first weeks of the season and the results in the beginning were not unbelievably good. But Darren [Moore] has done a fantastic job and all the players have adapted. They are so strong and always there scoring many goals, so I think West Brom has much improved.
“Our performances even at the beginning of the season were on a really good level but we have improved the consistency and also the effectiveness in terms of our results too.”
West Brom will have to play without England Under-21 Harvey Barnes who has played a key part in their recent success but has been recalled with immediate effect to his parent club Leicester City.
Farke said: “Without any doubt Harvey Barnes is a brilliant player and was there with many good performances and has had a really good impact for West Brom with goals and assists. But that’s what you have to handle in this business, and I don’t pay too much attention to what is happening for the opponents.
“Of course we prepare the team for the next opponent, who could play and which topics we have to be careful on, and of course it was a topic that he could not be involved and right now it’s confirmed, but that’s what you have to handle. And if someone is not available then it’s always an opportunity for a different guy to shine.
“During the season you always have to handle situations when some key players are not available. For example, Marco Stiepermann was recently nominated for the player of the month in the Championship but we have to play without him and it’s not like we give up and say ‘there’s no chance to win the points’, so I’m pretty sure that West Brom will do the same.
“I don’t expect they will be less motivated or with less quality. Of course Harvey Barnes is a good player, but they haven’t lost all their chances. They are a strong squad and we will travel with respect.”
The game could see former Canary Wes Hoolahan up against his old teammates after joining the Baggies in September.
Farke said: “It feels strange to think about seeing Wes not in a yellow shirt but that’s what you have to handle sometimes. We are looking forward to seeing Wes because he is still a good friend and legend of this Club.
“We will treat him like each and every other player on the opponent [during the game], but after the game he is invited in our dressing room and we can have a chat. But when he is on the pitch and he’s got the ball you can be sure that Alex Tettey or whoever is near him will want the ball and we will try our best in order to get the ball.
"We want to win this game and we want to win points tomorrow and for that it’s important that if Wes is involved that we control him, because even in 10 years he will still be able to do something magic on the pitch.”
Despite both sides fighting for automatic promotion, the City boss said he doesn't want his team to feel too much pressure going into the game.
“I don’t want to make it too big because it’s one of 46 games and each and every point and each and every game is important,” Farke said. “The season is like a marathon and you have to be there really focussed and concentrated in each and every game.
“When you play against a side which is more or less in your region of the table, then a game is perhaps even more important because when you win it means the opponent is not able to win any points or when you are there with a draw the opponent is also not able to win more than just one point. Perhaps in this game the pressure is a bit more on West Brom because they have so many opportunities and they are fighting for direct promotion.
“It’s important that we travel in a good mood and don’t feel too much pressure. We are confident and we want to enjoy the game and be there with a good performance. But it’s not like after this game the season is done.
“It’s important to not be too addicted to one game but we will invest everything to be there and fight as if it were the last game."