Norwich City Head Coach Daniel Farke was left rueing missed chances after he saw his side suffer a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with Crystal Palace at Carrow Road on Wednesday night.
“When you’re in the lead for as long as we were and have so many chances to score the second goal, it’s unbelievably frustrating to concede out of one situation – a late equaliser in the 88th minute,” he said. “It feels like a loss, so we’re all disappointed.
“It’s difficult to create chances against Crystal Palace because they’re a solid side who don’t concede many goals. Our game management was fantastic, and we were able to take the lead. We looked solid in our defending.
“We had chances for Kenny McLean and Mario Vrancic in the second half. Kenny hit the crossbar, so we were close to that second goal and that would have helped decide the game. We weren’t able to get it, and anything can happen in football.
“They had one moment of magic with Wilfried Zaha. It felt like an offside goal, but VAR decided to give it, so it was tough for us.”
Whilst the nature of the draw left City fans with a sour taste in the mouth, it was an improvement on September’s 2-0 defeat at Selhurst Park.
“Each game is tight,” Farke said, reflecting on that game. “We were prepared to be switched on for 90 minutes and our game management was good. We scored a beautiful goal with Todd Cantwell. We were greedy to get a second goal while being solid defensively, so we had a good balance.
“The only problem was that we weren’t able to bring the ball into the goal for a second time. On this level, a player like Zaha can win a one-on-one situation. He had a crucial assist and VAR overruled the referee’s decision.”
In the game’s dying embers, City fans got to see Adam Idah’s first senior appearance for the Canaries, who looked full of energy in the handful of minutes he had on the pitch.
“I don’t like to praise the young lads too much, but him playing is a sign of our way,” Farke acknowledged. “He looked pretty sharp when he came on, but he knows he has to improve and work further on. It’s not that easy to produce just by pressing a button to be a Premier League player at his age, but he’s got a lot of potential.”
Attention now turns to the third round of the FA Cup, in which City face Preston at the Deepdale Stadium on Saturday, and Farke says he’ll field a strong side, but doesn’t want to risk injuring due to the importance of the league campaign.
“We want to go into the next round of the FA Cup, but we had four games in ten games during the festive period, so that’s a lot for many players,” he explained. “I had to substitute Teemu Pukki because he felt something in his hamstring, so we won’t take any risks in the cup.
“We need a miracle to stay in the Premier League, so we will rotate a bit, but we want to go into the next round so we’ll have a strong starting line-up.
“I hope it’s not too bad for Teemu. We have to wait for the doctors and physios but it’s too early to judge it.”
Reflecting on 2019, Farke looked back with fondness on our Championship winning season, and delivered a message going into 2020.
“2019 was an unbelievable year and we were able to win the Championship title with a record season,” he said. “We had nearly 100 points. We want to stay humble, but we played a fantastic brand of football.
“The first part of this season was overshadowed with injuries, but we had some magic nights. We’re now in the worst position in the league. Overall, 2019 was fantastic and we’ll try to make 2020 remarkable. We need a big sensation to stay in the league, but we’ll try everything.”