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Farke thrilled with Canaries’ spirit during ‘crazy game’ but disappointed not to win at Birmingham

PUBLISHED: 18:31 04 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:54 05 August 2018

Onel Hernandez of Norwich celebrates scoring his sides 1st goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at the St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium, Birmingham 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Onel Hernandez of Norwich celebrates scoring his sides 1st goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at the St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium, Birmingham Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Daniel Farke admits he felt ‘five years older’ after Norwich City’s dramatic opening-day draw at Birmingham but also felt his team did enough to win the game.

Onel Hernandez’s late brace saw the Canaries come from behind twice to draw 2-2 at St Andrew’s.

The Cuban winger’s goals both came at the same end as more than 2,300 away fans, sparking wild celebrations on both occasions, particularly for his equaliser in the fourth minute of injury-time.

“It feels a bit like being five years older,” City’s head coach said with a relieved smile. “The first game day, if there are 46 like this I will feel pretty old be the end of the season!

“But in general this is why we love the game so much, a crazy game, several goals but several mistakes as well, so in general an unbelievably interesting opening game and in the end a draw in an away game, after being behind twice, it’s not too bad.”

Kenny McLean and Moritz Leitner both made a big impact after coming on in the 65th minute with the Canaries 1-0 behind, with Jordan Rhodes missing a fine headed chance from a superb Leitner cross shortly before Hernandez’s first goal.

Another substitute, striker Dennis Srbeny, then demonstrated fine hold-up play in the dying embers of the game to set Hernandez away to salvage a point – who had fired narrowly wide with the score at 1-1 as well.

“To be honest, the first game day the draw is always solid,” Farke continued. “When you are there with a draw in an away game is always solid, especially when you concede a late goal in the 90th minute and you are 2-1 behind, to be there with an equaliser in the 94th minute, you have to be happy.

“In general I can praise the mentality and attitude of the lads to come back but to be honest I’m also disappointed that we didn’t win this game because I got the feeling it was totally possible.

“I’ve looked at the statistics and we won our statistics, we had 70 percent of possession, we won more duels, we scored two goals.

“But we also had big chances in the first half of Jordan Rhodes and Onel Hernandez. Jordan Rhodes I would say in 49 out of 50 cases he would score this chance.

“Onel Hernandez after the 1-1 was one-on-one against the goalkeeper, an unbelievable chance, normally you get the feeling if you create so much in an away game it must be enough to win the game and for that I am a bit disappointed that we didn’t win this game.

“We know that our starting fixtures are unbelievably tough, perhaps the toughest in the whole league, so I would have preferred a win.”

The clinical nature of January signing Hernandez’s goals really pleased the Canaries’ boss though.

“Onel is a brilliant lad and he had a big impact at the end of last season but we spoke to him during the break that he has to add to his really good performances with something you can feel and you can count, so goals and assists to his really good play,” he added.

“So when you are there on the first day of the season with two determining goals it shows that he is totally on the right way and hopefully he can go on.”

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