Head coach Daniel Farke praised his team for a near perfect performance as Norwich City recorded a 4-1 win over Stoke City to return back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table.
The Canaries had fallen to second following a run of three games without victory and a disappointing defeat away at promotion chasing Swansea City last time out.
However, Farke thought his team responded to that loss superbly – as they have to other defeats this season.
“First of all, it was an important win,” he said. “It is always the same; you can win 30 games before but once you lose a game, and also an important game at Swansea, the self-confidence is not that high and then the next game is always complicated.
“So, for that many compliments to the lads. There were a few questions that we were asked because of the last three league games and the fact that we were there without a goal in those matches and today we delivered with, probably, our best offensive performance during the whole season.
“I have not seen a team creating more chances against Stoke the whole season; we were fantastic. We could have easily scored a few more when I think about the first 10 or 15 minutes, but we scored four today and for that I can’t complain too much. It was a good win and also a good response after a loss. So, for that many compliments to the lads.”
Farke said it was not a perfect performance though as the team made a few mistakes in their build-up play; gifting Stoke City a goal and other chances in the match.
“We assisted them (Stoke) to almost all of their chances,” he said. “It was strange scenes and also not explainable. For example, horizontal passes are not allowed in my football game and in the situation before their goal we played a 30-yard, horizontal pass straight into the feet of their striker and assisted their goal.
“We had other situations where we sent Steven Fletcher into a one-on-one duel with our keeper. I just can explain the situation a bit in that the pitch is that difficult to play at the moment that the players are a bit more concentrated that the ball doesn’t bump away and then they lose a bit their pre-orientation of their surroundings and their calmness.”
However, after gifting Stoke a way back into the match, Farke was pleased that the team went up the other end and scored almost straight away and then added a fourth.
“It was a great response that we didn’t get nervous anyhow and we scored straight away,” he said. “In the third goal as well Dimitris Giannoulis, I thought was fantastic. In the offence he was a big threat, and it came out of nothing that he was there with this horrendous mistake (for Stoke’s goal), but to show this mentality, in his first steps in English football, to be there five minutes later with a fantastic assist to Emi Buendia. It was an important assist, and it says a lot about his mentality and our mentality as a team. We were not without mistakes in this game, perhaps more mistakes than in any other game during this season but we showed a great mentality in wanting to force this win, so I can’t complain too much.
“Overall, the things I was asking for in this game they delivered and if you take away the mistakes then it is almost a perfect performance, but it is good for a coach that we have a few topics to moan about. We are not over the moon. We are back top of the table and that is good, but more importantly we have got three valuable points and there is still space for improvement.”