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Daniel Farke: We can win wherever we go

22 January 2020

Norwich City Head Coach Daniel Farke says his side are capable of picking up three points regardless of the opposition in the Premier League, assuming they’re firing on all cylinders.

“We know we face a top-class club with one of the most successful coaches in the world,” he said, speaking to the press ahead of Wednesday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur. “We can win points against every opponent wherever we go. We have to be at our best level, because if not something like a tough result against Manchester United can happen.

“[Against Bournemouth] We were accused of not being able to take results over the line or keep a clean sheet at home. We were accused of winning points against the top teams but not so much the teams around us. We were able to do that, so good for the confidence and the mood.”

The Spurs game comes sandwiched between last weekend’s win against AFC Bournemouth and Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Burnley, and the boss offered a potential solution for such fixture congestion.

“We played 46 league games in the Championship last season and two cup games,” he said. “Nowadays, the load for players is unbelievable with the pressure on each game, then you have players who play for their national teams like Teemu Pukki and you can’t give them a break. We have to be careful.

“Everyone wants them to play and have as many games as possible and we get benefits from that. It’s difficult to find the balance, but we have to take care of the workload without complaining too much about it. More breaks and less games would help with the quality of the games.

“It can be tricky for the Head Coach in terms of man management because you have to work with big squads but are only allowed to play eleven players. Some other countries have 20 players in the travelling squad which makes a huge difference because you don’t have to disappoint so many players.

“The workload isn’t healthy, but we can’t change it from a business point of view, but we can look for some solution to help the circumstances.”

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Looking at the league standings doesn’t make for pretty reading for City fans, but Farke insists his experience of working in relegation battles in his previous career can come in handy.

“When I took over at Borussia Dortmund II, we were sitting two points below safety,” he explained. “There have been several times I’ve been involved in relegation battles. During my career, I was either fighting for titles or battling against relegation.

“More or less, the only solid season was my first one here when we finished mid-table. The Premier League is the best league in the world and the attention is bigger, but it’s important to have this experience to know what is necessary to be successful in this period.

 “We have to be a realistic. When you’re a side promoted to the best league in the world a few years ahead of schedule, and no-one trusted us to win the Championship, to go with more or less the same squad, you have to handle the expectations. It was a historical season last season.

“We didn’t use it as an excuse, but we had the biggest injury crisis of all our competitors. It’s difficult for top sides to handle their top players being injured. We had to play without one fit centre-back for weeks. It would be a miracle to stay in this league.

“It helps with the mood when you have a good start, thinking a point is sometimes a good result. To close the gap, we need wins so that makes it more difficult. We all started playing football to create something extraordinary and we believe in miracles.

“We have to work hard for it, but we’re in the driver’s seat and it’s up to us to create it.”

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