PREVIEW: The Norwich City numbers make for stark reading
PUBLISHED: 14:26 28 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:26 28 April 2018
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Daniel Farke knows Norwich City must buck the trend to give Wes Hoolahan a fitting send off.
The Canaries have plenty of incentives to put Leeds United away in the final Championship home game of an inconsistent Carrow Road season.
Farke is well aware of the headline figures, and the solution to improving a sparse goal output that is only marginally better than the relegation candidates.
“We accept we have to improve the goalscoring statistic.
“That is crucial for a good position in the final table,” he said. “I have had some data given to me and when you look at shots on goal we are fifth best in the league. Then you take out the blocked shots and we are actually third.
“But in terms of accuracy, of using these chances, we are 22nd and on the big chances - penalties, one-on-ones - we are 24th in the league.
“So when you talk about a difficulty to create chances that is not the case, it is converting those chances.
“You could saw we had a problem to create chances in the beginning of the season but certainly we are now. We just need to add some quality.”
City came up short against Leeds United in December and Farke is surprised to be in a position to finish above the Whites in the final table.
“When we went to Elland Road they were pretty close to the play-offs and I had the feeling they had quality attacking players,” said Farke. “It shows how close the Championship is that they have no chance to fight for promotion now.
“When you don’t build the momentum it is tough.
“We know we can go for 12th position, because we have this chance against Leeds. But perhaps a bit more important is the fact this is a game for Wes.
“He totally deserves this.”
Hoolahan can expect a fitting tribute this afternoon but beneath all the plaudits and the emotion there is another lasting legacy - his impact on Farke’s young talent.
“Wes is a role model,” he said. “Not only on the pitch, but what he does off it.
“He speaks a lot with the young players and not in a way that he tells them he knows everything about football and you must listen to me, because this is the way it is.
“Young players won’t accept that.
“He always did it in a natural way with a hint here or a smile there.
“The players like him and trust him because they know the respect he has and they want to learn.
“He doesn’t need to speak for three hours but when he says something they listen. Especially someone like James (Maddison) who played a pretty similar role.”