Head coach Daniel Farke praised his players for collecting a ‘massive’ win against Swansea City as the Canaries go into the international break on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run.
Marco Stiepermann scored the only goal to take the three points and Farke highlighted the importance of the victory, as it took the Canaries to within a point of league leaders Reading.
“It was a pretty important win for us and many compliments to the lads,” said Farke. “This period of games, to stay unbeaten and to have 17 points and many clean sheets is pleasing. It is also, against top class sides. Swansea were in the play-offs last season and they are definitely as side that wants to win the title or at least to be in the top six.
“So, to return to the dressing room with a clean sheet and a win feels good. It also feels massive in terms of confidence.”
Swansea had their chances in the match, most notably in the second half having switched to a 4-3-3 formation at half-time. However, Farke admitted that the switch in tactics from Swans head coach Steve Cooper presented Norwich with an opportunity to attack down the left full-back position, through Bali Mumba.
A double change, on 70 minutes, which also saw Josh Martin come on, made for a very open end to the proceedings but the head coach said he wanted to be brave.
“It was a difficult decision because Swansea were not happy with their first half because we dominated,” he said. “They (Swansea) used the half-time a little but to change their setup and opted to play more of a 4-3-3.
“Actually, I was quite pleased because we wanted to use a bit more of a pacey full-back on our side and that is why we gave Bali (Mumba) his debut. It was the first time that he played in the left full-back position and for this reason we also needed to pin their full-back a bit more with a number 10 type. We needed, not the pace of a Przemslaw Placheta but a more of a number 10 type like Josh Martin.
“It is one thing is to have the idea, the players have to bring it onto the pitch.
“So many compliments to them for that, because they did fantastic. We always cut them off on the left wing. It was a bit risky, because when you play them, such young lads, against such an experienced player, it could also be a bit risky in terms of the defending.
“But I got the feeling that fortune always favours the brave. So, I wanted to take that risk, because we wanted to win this game. We didn’t want to be happy with a 0-0 and thankfully it paid off. And many congratulations to players because they did fantastic, especially in the last 20 minutes.”
Farke also had complimented Tim Krul, who made three good second-half saves to secure the Canaries the points.
“I have said this many times but we have the best goalkeeper in this league and he was there with crucial saves,” he said. “There was a lot of spirit and mentality to bring this over the line and it is good to return to the dressing room, in such an important game, with a clean sheet. There are many things to like from this game but a few topics on which can improve as well.”