Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke was pleased with his side’s 2-0 victory over Dynamo Dresden on Wednesday - City’s third win and clean sheet in pre-season.
“Good, if I’m honest,” Farke said, explaining his post-match emotions. “I’m much more delighted than with the Verl game. It was difficult today because the pitch was awful and we were against a big name in Germany who are one of the favourites for promotion in their league.
“I think we dominated the game from the first second. It was a really good team performance in the first half, we totally controlled the game and scored a fantastic goal with Teemu. We could have scored a few more perhaps.
“In the second half, we were not that structured anymore with many changes, but the individual performances were definitely alright. I was pleased with the second goal and especially with the clean sheet.
“Third game, third clean sheet, third win. We created a few more chances again and have scored several goals so far. Today, I’m much more delighted than I was after the Verl game, so compliments to the lads.”
Teemu Pukki opened the scoring with his first goal of pre-season, Marco Stiepermann picking out the Finn with a through ball which our number 22 dispatched with the kind of confidence we’ve come to expect.
“Teemu is experienced enough that he knows pre-season is not that important and the real stuff will begin, but to score is always good for the confidence, whether it’s against a third tier team or Liverpool or Man City,” Farke said.
“He’s improving his fitness level from day to day, is concentrated and focused. For me, it’s important that he brings himself into a top class physical shape and works a lot for the team. If he does that, he has so much quality, as he’s proved so often during his career.
“We don’t have to speak about his quality and it’s no coincidence that he’s there with a top class finish because he’s working quite hard at the moment and his physical condition is better from day to day.
“His workload for the team with the pressing is improving, so no coincidence that he’s off the mark today.”
Elsewhere up front, Jordan Hugill played the full second half and got the game’s other goal on his debut with a delicate dink over the Dresden keeper.
“He has to adapt a bit to our game, to the passes and the running moves of the teammates, so he can’t have a world class performance every day, but he proved in some situations why we wanted to sign him - he’s physical, he’s different to what we have in our offensive options,” Farke added.
“He’s a top class character who works a lot for the team and we need him on set plays at times in the offense and defence. He has a natural born striker instinct, otherwise he can’t score double figures every season.
“It was a good finish and good for his confidence to help him settle in. For a striker, it’s always important they score, so I’m delighted for him.”
One pre-season game remains before City begin the 2020-21 campaign proper, and the aim is to get minutes in the legs in Saturday’s clash with SV Darmstadt.
“The plan is to have more game-time in general, so we’ll play a bit more than 90 minutes,” Farke explained. “Today, we had to be careful with the load because we have to work on the training pitch on tactical terms, so it was the right choice to give more or less 45 minutes to everyone, although Ben was involved for 90.
“Sorensen has played one game for 90 minutes, but we’ve handled the load in the right way. It’s quite normal to rest a few players and we have lots of competition at the moment, so whoever plays is delivering in a good way.
“That's always healthy for the group, so that’s what we need.”