Norwich City Head Coach Daniel Farke has said that his side aren’t considering making changes to their approach, believing that shoring up defensively will help showcase the fruits of his methods.
The boss was speaking to the media in his pre-AFC Bournemouth press conference, and had this to say on the following topics…
On the timing of the international break…
“If you lose a game, you always want to get back on the pitch to put in a good performance and get a good result, but in this case, it helped us because we had so many problems. It helped us to settle everything down and to recover. I’d have preferred if it had come one week earlier, but you can’t choose. In terms of injuries, it has helped us.
“It’s always good for the confidence of a striker to score goals, so I was pleased for Josip Drmic to get his first for us last week and for Teemu Pukki to score the manner of goals he did for Finland. He hasn’t lost any confidence and we’ve managed his minutes in training this week.
“It’s always important to be self-critical and ask yourself if you’re doing the right things, but it’s not like I had to learn anything because I already knew about being solid in defending. My first task when I came here was to stabilise the defence because in the season before we had conceded nearly 100 goals. One of our biggest strengths became finishing games with clean sheets. It was important that the following season we added some more goals.
“In my second season we scored 100 goals with the fifth best defence. The break gave us a chance to analyse the areas we have to improve to be more solid in defending. I hope we pressed the right buttons, but we work on it daily because it’s a process. It’s not like everything can work at once.”
To see the team news in full, click here.
On a slow start last season…
“You can’t compare it that much to last season, it’s a different level. I wouldn’t label it as a slow start because we had outstanding games against Newcastle United and Manchester City. We’re not naïve, we know that on this level, when you have so many problems, there are some tough days. We accept this and are pretty relaxed, concentrated and focused on ourselves.
“We know that we are the underdog in more or less every game at this level because we’re a newly promoted side that isn’t able to spend lots of money. We’re probably favourites to finish 20th in this league, but we don’t accept that.”
On conceding goals…
“I agree that we have conceded too many goals. It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing football 20 years ago or today, you always have to be solid defending. With our injuries, it was quite normal that we were struggling a bit, but we have to reduce the number of goals we’re conceding, otherwise we’ll have big problems.
“There hasn’t been one goal we’ve conceded due to an overload in defence. We’re praised a lot for our brave and offensive style with our full backs. When you analyse the goals we’ve conceded, it’s not down to our full backs being too high up the pitch, but our defensive behaviour in certain situations.
“We have to find solutions as a team, and I won’t blame my players individually. We have to be fully switched on to be competitive, but it’s not just about defensive behaviour. We also had problems against Aston Villa with the accuracy of our passing – it wasn’t perfect and some of our best technical players were losing the ball. There’s not just one button we can press. We’re always working on many topics at the same time.”
“Each and every game is a chance to get points, even if we were travelling to the Etihad Stadium. We’re full of respect for Eddie Howe’s work. He’s done a fantastic job over the years. You can see the club growing and improving more from season to season. They’ve got great offensive players with lots of potential. We will have to be at our best to get some points. We’re not driving there because it’s a lovely place by the coast, we’re going there to get some points.
“Eddie has made Bournemouth a permanent member of the Premier League and a club that stands for a special philosophy and a special style of play. We’re slightly different to them in our approach and setup, but they can be a role model for us to try to improve year to year, even if the first and second years are difficult. They had tough days, but they were always calm and convinced by their way of playing.”
On away form…
“Sometimes it’s more of a coincidence. Last season, we were the best team on the road and ended up being the best team at home and away. We had really tough away games at West Ham United and Liverpool. If we win 15 games at home, I’ll take it but we’re always greedy to take points in away games. It’s a bit more difficult because of the new surroundings and the home supporters, but in general it’s the same game so we’re not scared to play our way.”