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Accuracy must improve if Norwich City are to strike better balance between defence and attack against Sheffield United

Nelson Oliveira fired into the side-netting during the second half against Burton. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Nelson Oliveira fired into the side-netting during the second half against Burton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Ahead of Norwich City trying to find a better balance between defence and attack at Sheffield United, David Freezer looks at a clear area for improvement.

Championship shooting statistics after seven games. Graphic: Archant Championship shooting statistics after seven games. Graphic: Archant

Repairing a leaking defence was the clear objective for Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke – but now he has to make sure goals continue to flow as well.

Who’d want to be a football manager, hey? Or a head coach in Farke’s case, of course.

The German knew he was taking on a big job when he joined the Canaries amid a summer of budget cutting and downsizing as Premier League funds drifted away.

On the pitch the objective was clear for Farke and sporting director Stuart Webber: drastically improve City’s defensive record but make sure to not hinder the team’s attacking talents too much.

Josh Murphy tried to force the issue against Burton but couldn't find the target for City. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Josh Murphy tried to force the issue against Burton but couldn't find the target for City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Those statistics we all know far too well already from last season are that 85 goals scored tied City with champions Newcastle and play-off semi-finalists Fulham, yet 69 conceded was the third-worst record in the division.

That is why a play-off place was missed and when four goals were conceded in successive defeats at Aston Villa and Millwall before the international break – the first time a Canaries side had managed that unenviable feat on over 18 years – even more focus was needed on a reshaped defence.

Beating Birmingham 1-0 and drawing 0-0 with Burton has been a much-needed response in that regard, even if the latter result on Tuesday night was extremely disappointing.

It featured no less than 18 shots from the Canaries – but only two were on target. In fact, less than a third of City’s efforts have been on target so far this season, with Nelson Oliveira and Josh Murphy both guilty of some wayward attempts against the Brewers.

City head coach Daniel Farke endured a frustrating night against Burton. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images City head coach Daniel Farke endured a frustrating night against Burton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

If there is any chance of combining an attacking threat with defensive resolve and getting a win at in-form Sheffield United tomorrow, that accuracy has to improve.

• Follow David Freezer on Facebook @DavidFreezer1 or on Twitter @davefreezer

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