Daniel Farke described Norwich City’s 1-0 friendly win against Lincoln City on Tuesday afternoon as ‘another good test and an important step’ in pre-season.
Speaking to canaries.co.uk at Lotus Training Centre after the match, the boss provided an honest assessment of the match.
“Two wins in two games is always good, also with a clean sheet, but I got the feeling that today was a bit of a difficult day at the office,” he said. “We played against a good side who are ambitious and have quality in comparison to our first game.
“We controlled the first half, were good in possession and created solid chances but missed a few too many. In the second half, we moved the ball a bit too slow and found it hard to create more chances against a well-structured, defensive opponent.
“In the end, we found the winner and it’s always good to win a game of football and to return to the dressing room with a clean sheet. When you have difficult days, you have to make sure that you are efficient, win the game and are solid in defending your own goal.
“It’s not like I’m over the moon after this game and dancing on the table but it was another good test and an important step.”
In the end, the game was decided by new signing Pierre Lees-Melou, and Farke was keen to discuss his impact on the game.
“Even in his first minutes, you could see his experience and his quality as a player who has played many games on the top level with top class teammates for a good club in a good league,” he said.
“It was a perfect situation that he finished. We know he’s good from long range and those shots can decide a game. That was one of the reasons we were so keen to sign him. It’s good to have him and that he’s available to play.”
Two wins from two means that Farke can be happy with his side’s progress in pre-season so far, without reading too much into the results.
“In pre-season it’s important not to over interpret the results. There can be crazy results and teams from the lower tiers can win against top sides, so each win is valuable.
“They were highly motivated and played very aggressively and competitively, which is good because we need this type of test. We need to keep going and it’s a good feeling to have these first two wins under our belt.”
“I’m quite pleased with the workload, which is unbelievably high on the lads, but I have to say the spirit around the group is already really good. Even the new lads have adapted quite well and work hard.
“Yes, it’s a bit disturbing that not all of the players are available. I hope pretty soon that our players who are now doing rehab like Ben Gibson, Grant Hanley, Kenny McLean or Sam Byram will join us.
“Teemu Pukki and Tim Krul can hopefully join us soon and be available for the games, the same with Onel Hernandez.
“Overall, this is what you expect in pre-season after the EUROs. I’m quite happy but there’s still lots of work to do.”
“These are the kinds of tests that are really important. Lincoln are a side not on Premier League level but ambitious to play next season in the Championship. They have a good side and it will be the same with Huddersfield.
“They’re not Man City or Liverpool, but a good side and we have to improve from day to day. It’s not easy to deliver your best performance all three days. I expect a tough test but we want to win the game and make the next steps forward."