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Interviews

Daniel Farke: We showed quality and spirit to beat Cardiff

16 January 2021

Daniel Farke says his Norwich City side showed plenty of different qualities in their 2-1 win over Cardiff City.

Swashbuckling football in the first-half from the Canaries, which saw them score twice, was followed by a more measured approach after half-time.

Cardiff pulled a goal back in the second-half but the Canaries dug deep after a testing week to notch another three points and extend their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

“It’s important we judge the game in the right way,” said the City boss. “The second-half we could have made our lives a bit easier but I have to say what we have delivered today in the circumstances is outstanding.

“Today, I just have praise and compliments for the lads. We’ve had a difficult week in terms of COVID-19 cases and we found out one day before the game that we have nine COVID cases, four players and five staff members.

“In addition to that, we had to fight with the flu. Lukas Rupp and Josh Martin both out, Emi Buendia also had some symptoms during this week so it’s been unbelievably difficult.

“In addition to that, several key players are injured. It’s a strange injury for Teemu Pukki but to then come to Cardiff, a difficult place to come, and deliver such a first-half is outstanding.

“It was close to perfect. We were so good, so dominant and so clinical in our situations. We could have easily been up even three or four.

“In the second-half, we dominated further on in the beginning. We conceded unnecessarily and didn’t have too much pressure on the ball, perhaps we felt too comfortable.

“They brought their main striker on, Kieffer Moore, who was buzzing after injury to be back in the game. He’s very difficult to defend against.

“Of course, they sensed blood against us. After a difficult week, we thought whether it was possible if we could have given the game away.

“It was difficult to be absolutely confident but, in these moments, we had to dig in and be there with spirit, togetherness and put our bodies on the line.

“This is what we did, the third and fourth goals could have been possible to make our lives easier. But I have to say, what we have delivered in difficult surroundings is outstanding.”

The goals City scored were chalk and cheese in terms of build-up. The first was a corner flicked on by Mario Vrancic and turned home by Grant Hanley - the second, a sensational team move finished by Todd Cantwell.

“When we want to play with the likes of Teemu Pukki, Emi Buendia, Todd Cantwell, Oliver Skipp, Max Aarons – we have to accept we are one of the smallest teams when it comes to set pieces," continued Farke.

“You can’t have everything. If you play with those guys, you’ll play fantastic football and create exciting team goals but you have to accept, in terms of set pieces, it’s difficult for us.

“I have to say, what the lads are doing in terms of defending set pieces for such a small side is outstanding. We are one of the best teams in the league in terms of defending.

“At the other end we’ve been desperate to score from corner kicks. We’ve scored a few free-kicks and penalty kicks but not many from corners.

“I was pretty pleased with the delivery and the movement of Mario Vrancic at that corner today. Grant had to put this situation over the line – it was good for my centre-backs that they got on the scoresheet. We need goals everywhere. Cardiff are one of the best set piece sides in the whole league.

“The second was an unbelievable team goal. Cardiff pressed hard and we needed to be brave with our clever players to bypass their players.

“Ben Gibson, Daniel Barden and Grant Hanley were brave to play the passes. And their work ended with an easy tap in for Todd Cantwell – it was a great example for how we want to play.”


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