Daniel Farke: We’re one point closer to what we want to achieve

While disappointed that his side didn’t take all three points in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers, Daniel Farke told that he sees it as one point gained rather than two points dropped.

“We were used to winning football games in recent weeks and months,” he said. “Of course, when you come so close to winning the next three points and concede a relatively late equaliser, the first feeling is disappointment.

“We wanted to achieve 85 points today and the outcome is just a draw. Everyone is a bit flat because we were so close and it was a difficult game, especially in the second half. I felt we had the key to open the game and created several chances, scored a good goal and defended everything quite well.

“Out of a set-piece, we lost a one-on-one duel on the far post against Gallagher. It was difficult to defend - a good delivery and he is strong in this moment. Our answer was quite good and we created more than enough to win in the final 15 minutes.

“There was a situation between Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell - a nice give and go and he had a great chance that was blocked in the last moment. Marco Stiepermann out of 14 yards, Emi Buendia in a perfect shooting position, or the last scene when, if Teemu’s first touch was slightly better, he’d have been one-on-one against the goalkeeper.

“We didn’t use them today so the outcome is just a draw. In the last ten games - nine wins and one draw - you can’t win them all. I’d have preferred to win the last 18 games but the reality is sometimes you have to accept a draw in a good game of football.

“The opponent was quite brave and played with intensity and went for it. They had no pressure today. We’re not dancing on the table in the dressing room, but what the lads have delivered recently is outstanding so we can’t be too down. We can live with a draw because we’re one point closer to what we want to achieve in the end.

“Every game is difficult and every side in this league has quality to beat the other side. Blackburn proved today why they were quite optimistic when the season started about wanting to finish in the top six.

“I still think we should have won, judged by the chances in the first half - hitting the crossbar and the post. Our defending was more or less spot on, but we didn’t show the effectiveness to finish our chances like in the last games so we have to accept the draw.”

Farke also provided updates on injuries sustained to Dimitris Giannoulis and Ben Gibson, who were both forced off throughout the game. 

“Twice we had to substitute important players for us, meaning you only have three left to make,” he said. “I had to substitute Kieran Dowell because he started the last game and you could feel in the second half, after 65 minutes, he started to get a bit more tired.

“With Dimitris, it looks like a concussion. I hope it’s not too bad and he’s available for Preston. With Ben, we have to wait a little bit. The assessment is he rolled his ankle and didn’t look that great. I hope it’s not too bad.

“I trust my players and whenever I need Christoph he is fantastic. Jacob was back to his old position at left-back. Perhaps Xavi Quintilla will have a chance next time if Dimitris isn’t available, although we hope he is. 

“With 11 players you can’t win anything, so you need the whole squad.”

A selection of the City squad will now head away for international duty with their nations while the others will use almost two weeks to recover and prepare for the trip to Preston.

“The schedule is relentless so it’s important to calm the load down in the first days and then to start concentrating on training,” Farke said. “I hope the national team players come back healthy and safe. It’s still a bit questionable to have this break and send them away to high risk areas.

“We’re not allowed to see our families, kids, parents or grandparents but we send our national team players away with lots of travelling. If they’re competitive games you have to accept this, but to send them away for friendlies, I think it’s a questionable decision but it’s not up to us and we have to deal with it.

“It will be a difficult weekend after they come back because most will just come back on Thursday pretty tired. We have to be smart in our recovery with them and see what the next days bring.”

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