Norwich City Head Coach Daniel Farke has called on Norwich City supporters to make Carrow Road a difficult place to play for Manchester United when the two sides meet on Sunday.
With City going into the game as underdogs, the boss insisted that Norwich fans can give the players the best possible chance of getting more Premier League points on the board by getting behind the team from the first minute to the last.
“We’re still a newly promoted side and we still have only one fit centre-back, even though the injury situation is better than a few weeks ago,” he said. “It was more or less the same against Manchester City, but we created a magic night.
“We’re realistic, we can’t take it as a given to repeat that every week but that’s what we try to do by being outstanding in our performances. We need to create a special atmosphere like a do or die cup game, so if someone makes a successful tackle the whole stadium has to be buzzing. We need that mood otherwise we have no chance to gain points.
United haven’t had the best of starts to their season, but a disciplined defensive performance against Liverpool earned them a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, before midweek action saw them beat Partizan in the Europa League on Thursday.
“They will be switched on because they’re not in the position where they want to be,” Farke added. “As a newly promoted side, you’d rather play them when they’re prioritising Europe, but they rested some key players this week to be concentrated and switched on in the league.”
In that 1-1 draw against Liverpool, United opted for a 5-3-2 formation out of possession, forcing Farke to consider how to tackle Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s various setups.
“You have to be prepared for changes in the formation,” he said. “The setup was different and a boost for their confidence when they got a point against Liverpool. They looked solid and compact with their setup and followed it with a clean sheet in the Europa League.
“Regardless of whether they play three or five at the back, it will be an unbelievably difficult task, so we have to be flexible and prepare for both setups.
“When I think about their squad, they’ve got world class players, including David De Gea - who’s been rested for this game – Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard… there are so many good options and top-class players. It’s not going to be a 50/50 game, even though perhaps they’re struggling.
“The pace, speed and mobility of the offensive players is outstanding. Even the defensive players like Aaron Wan-Bissaka have unbelievable pace. To control their counters will be a key topic for us for sure.
“For Daniel James to deliver as quickly as he has at this level says a lot about his character and potential. It’s no surprise to me, so all respect to him because he’s already crucial.”
But Farke is adamant that City will be no pushovers, suggesting that courage and bravery can lead the Canaries to success, regardless of the opposition.
“Hopefully for every opponent it’s tough to play against us,” he said. “We don’t want any of our opponents to think it was easy. Even against one of the best teams in the world, Man City, we got points, and we were competitive at Anfield. When we stick together and bring our best performance on the pitch, we have a chance to get some points from this game.
“We have to be brave and show some courage. It’s not a guarantee that it will always work with a perfect outcome, but we have to go for it and try to grab the chances with both hands. We go into this game with confidence and bravery to show what we’re capable of, while being realistic and respectful.”