Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke emphasised the importance of his players acknowledging the room to improve in Saturday’s performance against Watford.
“We’re disappointed we lost this game,” he said. It was a difficult game for us against one of the top favourites for the title. They’re unhappy to just be in position five and want to be in the top two, so they sacked the coach and it was clear they would play today with energy and new motivation.
“When you judge the statistics, we had 65 percent possession to 35, 16 shots to seven and won more duels. It’s not a game we should’ve lost but we did. I don’t want to blame anyone but ourselves today.
“We lacked a bit of intensity in our offensive play and dominated the game. They were shifting, trying to defend and waiting for the counters, but in front of the goal in the last third we lacked intensity and weren’t willing to invest enough in terms of creating chances because of movement in behind.
“When you’re not willing to do this stuff that sometimes hurts, you sack yourself down on a normal level and lose awareness and awakeness against the ball and that’s how we conceded the goal.
“We were in overload and it was totally unnecessary to concede from the situation. We should have blocked the cross and defended the far post better, but it was an expression of our lack of intensity in the whole game.
“When you’re not sharp to be there with movements in behind you’re also not sharp in terms of defending and that was the problem.
“It wasn’t a poor performance, but when five percent is lacking on this level and once you’re back in the second half in a difficult away ground where they have lots of Premier League experience on the pitch, they were lurking for counters and smelled they could have a massive win.
“Then it was difficult to turn the game. We had several good situations but used it a bit too complicated and didn’t show enough quality to equalise. In such a situation you have to accept a loss.
“We expected that they would concentrate on defending, being compact and trying to use their unbelievable quality upfront and pace with Sarr, Sema, Deeney and Gray.
“They rejected an unbelievable offer for Sarr because they have ambition and for that it was difficult to control all these offensive players. I think we did it quite well but we didn’t use our dominance to create more chances and score goals.
“In one situation, you can concede. If you don’t show enough quality to score one goal then you lose such a game against such a side, so we’re not happy and we’re disappointed.
“Players like Ben were out for quite long and it’s not like you can press a button and are already there at your best. Lukas Rupp was fantastic before his four-week injury. It’s not like straight away you can deliver and it’s the same for Ben.
“In the offense, we were lacking runs in behind from our offensive players and it’s a problem when Placheta’s pace isn’t there or Onel Hernandez isn’t there. Adam Idah with his movements is not there. Marco Stiepermann has the will to run in behind but we were lacking that.
“I hope these players will come back soon because we need all the players in order to be successful and to have a perfect performance. We have to step up a little bit, but with 46 games I can’t expect us to win each and every one.
“It wasn’t a horrendous performance, it simply wasn’t our best and when we’re not at our best then we can lose games. We have to show a reaction on Tuesday.
“I have to calm myself down in order not to be strict because I don’t want to let my standards and levels drop. We always speak about needing intensity up front and runs in behind and I want to see this in every game.
“We mentioned it before the game and had a normal week, so no excuses not to have this intensity. I want us to be self critical and not enjoy ourselves too much or be too proud of what we’ve done so far.
“The bigger picture is overall they have done fantastic, no doubt about this and we’re in a brilliant position, but it’s about our standards so I have to point out what we could have done better and it’s important we react on Tuesday and try to win the next game.”