First-team

Daniel Farke: It is a bit tricky. There will be some late decisions

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke faces a number of late calls ahead of tomorrow’s fixture with Arsenal as players returning from international duty face late fitness tests.

There will be late calls on Christos Tzolis, who went away with Greece, Josh Sargent, who played for the USA, and Kenny McLean, who left the Scotland training camp with an ankle complaint after the first game.

“It is a bit tricky because many of the players arrived back late,” said Daniel, when asked about his selection thoughts. “There will be some late decisions but definitely out will be Christoph Zimmermann, with an ankle problem, and Dimitris Giannoulis with a back and neck problem.”

Of particular concern for Farke in terms of the late calls on fitness was that of Josh Sargent. He played for the USA in Honduras in the early hours of Thursday morning and then had to spend the majority of the following day travelling back to Norwich before reporting for training with jetlag and hamstring problems.

“It is a bit frustrating because he was in great shape before and he is an important player for us,” said Daniel. “Then to be away in different time zones. He finished the game at 5am in the morning and caught a flight at 7am and, without sleep, had the flight back (to the UK).

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“He reported a bit of jetlag today and then, of course, it is no coincidence that he reports some problems with his hamstrings after such a journey. We will have to assess him, but I think it will be doubtful if he is really involved tomorrow. In general, many, many clubs are struggling with these problems. We are not the only club and for that there is no excuses. We don’t complain too much. We accept it and move forward.”

Norwich go into Saturday’s match at Arsenal just above the Gunners in the table. That is because Arsenal have yet to win a game resulting in a lot of pressure being heaped on their head coach Mikel Arteta. Asked if Norwich could play on that and try get the home fans to turn on their own manager and players, Daniel said: “No, I can’t influence what happens in a different stadium.

“I have no problem with how the game develops and if Arsenal fans try to be there and try to help and support the team for 90 minutes, if in the end we are there with a good result.

“I don’t believe in such psychological things too much and, especially because they have so many experienced players like (Alexandre) Lacazette and (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang and so many quality players. For that I don’t think they crack under pressure. They have played so many games. I don’t think they would be nervous even if they are a few supporters complaining. We take the atmosphere like it is. It is just important that we are really good in our game and then we give ourselves a chance to be there with a good result.”

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