Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke was full of pride for his team following Wednesday’s 2-1 win at home to Nottingham Forest.
“It’s one of the proudest moments during the season so far, because the lads are outstanding to win this game in this circumstance - it’s unbelievable,” he said.
“Today, we had more or less four mascots on the bench - players who had had just one training session such as Kieran Dowell. It was crazy to have him on the bench but I got the feeling we needed to work on our togetherness and spirit, and give the lads who have to deliver some trust.
“We can’t fill the bench at the moment, and when you look to your left and don’t see anyone, or just some faces you don’t know, it’s tricky with self confidence.
“To bring players like Kieran, Jordan, Kenny and Todd, who were actually not prepared to play many minutes today, we got the feeling that it’s good for their way back and for the spirit and togetherness and the confidence.
“To deliver on all three days at this level is unbelievably difficult and I’m pretty proud that we were capable of winning this game.”
Farke went on to discuss the inclusion of Kieran Dowell, Jordan Hugill, Todd Cantwell and Kenny McLean on today’s bench, saying that they can play an important role even if they’re not fully ready to get on the pitch.
“I think it’s a boost for Kieran, Jordan, Todd and Kenny; all the lads who were a bit away,” he said. “I felt this should help us to bring a proper result over the line and that’s what we did today against a good side.
“I praised them and I don’t count them in their current position in the table. They’re one of the best teams and were capable today of bringing quality in with Jenkinson and Knockaert - top class players.
“Again, for us it’s always the same. The pressure is always on us because we are more or less the favourite in each and every game. All the other teams have nothing to lose away to the team at the top of the table, so they try to play their game of the season.
“It’s always difficult for us to deliver, but what the lads are doing at the moment in these difficult circumstances, with many injuries to key players, is fantastic and I can’t praise them enough.”
Unsurprisingly, one player Farke is more than happy to praise is Jacob Sorensen, who scored the game’s opening goal and has become reliable cover at left-back in recent weeks.
“He’s fantastic, because he’s played nine or ten games out of his natural position which is central midfield,” he said. “Today, he had to defend players like Lolly, Ameobi and Knockaert, who are top class players on this level and he did that with calmness, coolness, class and quality.
“Ahead of him plays a guy, Josh Martin, and we like what he’s doing with the ball. Against the ball, it’s of course difficult for him and he has to learn a bit because it’s more or less his debut week.
“No problems with Jacob. When he had to be clinical up front, he was. In general, I think we played a really good first half today.
“The only thing is that we weren’t clinical enough to use our good positions because we created so many good scenes and scored fantastic goals. There was a handball so we should have got a penalty.
“It’s difficult to find this cutting edge, even for top class offensive players. Jacob showed that today and he was fully focused and committed in the moment he had to score.
“In the second half, he was also helpful, although it wasn’t our best second half. We lost a bit of our control over the game and they were capable of bringing a lot of quality in.
“After the equaliser, we grinded in and out of a fantastic goal we went in the lead again. In the end, Jacob was important because we could control their right wing and their crosses, so I’m pleased and delighted with him.”
The win saw Norwich return to the top of the Championship table, moving three points clear of AFC Bournemouth.
“To win many points in the toughest league in the world, especially after relegation, is unbelievably tough, and we’re capable at the moment of grinding out results and to deliver more or less on a daily basis,” Farke added.
“We play with young lads on the wings. In the last game, we had a lad who was there with his debut, and before that it’s Przemyslaw Placheta’s first season in English football. We’re playing at the moment without a left full-back and have struggled at times to have a striker.
“To deliver against experienced and class sides like Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday, who played with five centre-backs and had Windass up front - they’re proper experienced lads.
“To do this with four or five players who are from the academy is outstanding and, again, I’m pleased with what my lads are doing at the moment.”