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Alex Pritchard gone. But will James Maddison follow? Daniel Farke on his midfield maestro’s future

PUBLISHED: 08:34 13 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:30 13 January 2018

James Maddison is likely to attract Premier League interest this month. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

James Maddison is likely to attract Premier League interest this month. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Daniel Farke will not seek assurances from the club’s top brass James Maddison could be next out of the Norwich City exit.

Alex Pritchard completed his move to Premier League Huddersfield on Friday, for an undisclosed fee reportedly in the region of £11m.

Farke wanted to keep Pritchard but understands the stark financial reality facing the board, with Maddison now the prized asset left in his squad.

“There can be no assurances in this business.

“Two weeks ago I didn’t have the feeling we would sell Alex but things develop, offers increase and there is a point when the club must make a decision,” he said. “You know in this business there can be something stupid at any moment. But right now, from the sporting side they know it is important to keep a key player like James Maddison.

“The only message from this decision should be that before, the financial pressure was not big in this window.

“Now we have sold an important player for a lot of money so there is no pressure to sell another one.

“It takes further pressure away and we are able to keep players like James Maddison.

“I am pretty sure if we get another offer for one of our big players after selling Alex the board would feel we can’t lose a second key player in this moment in the season. It means we are more likely to keep the key players together.”

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Farke insists his squad must get over the departure of an influential midfielder.

“When you have a really good lad like Alex Pritchard, the rest are not stupid.

“They know how important he is,” he said. “They won’t be dancing around on the tables now he has left. It is sad when such a good lad leaves the club.

“Maybe you need two or three days to get your motivation back and then you go forward again.

“We have some young lads and others who have been in it for a while. It is part of the business. You have to be professional.

“When there is a decision, from the financial point of view, in regards to selling a player, then it is important there is trust between the board, sporting director and head coach - and we have an unbelievable relationship.

“The most important people at any club are the board because they have to lead a club for the long term. But I understand the frustration (of the fans) because when Alex returned he brought us on a different level. It was no coincidence we had this good run when he returned to the squad.”

For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt on the following channels…

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Opinion: It’s been a very eventful few days for Norwich City, and it all started with that brilliant 1-0 win at Ashton Gate. This win was thanks to another wonderful James Maddison goal and one hell of a save by Angus Gunn, one his old man I’m sure would have been proud to make. Sadly Norwich went out of the FA Cup at the third round stage for the fourth consecutive season, but gave a magnificent account of themselves and pushed Chelsea all the way – but it wasn’t to be as they were knocked out in the cruellest way, on penalties. The win against Bristol City means the club have won nearly twice as many away games as they have done at Carrow Road, Norwich are now unbeaten in their last four league games while conceding just one goal in those four games. Saturday gives City an opportunity to win back-to-back league games for the first time at Carrow Road this season, which is quite astounding considering we’re now in mid-January. I guess it just goes to show how they’ve struggled to break teams down and how inconsistent they have been on their own patch. Chris Wilder brings his out-of-sorts Sheffield United down to Carrow Road – I’m sure he’ll get a nice warm welcome from the Norwich faithful after some of the remarks he made after Norwich’s very impressive win at Bramall Lane in a bad-tempered game earlier in the season when the Blades we’re flying in the league, something they aren’t quite doing at this moment in time, having won just one of their last 10 Championship games. I think tomorrow gives the lads a real chance of closing the gap even more on the teams in those play-off positions. I scored a few goals against Sheffield United in my career, especially when I played at Bramall Lane – a brace for Leicester springs to mind. I scored a couple for Norwich against them at Carrow Road and looking back on my 96 goals for the Canaries, one of those was one of the most important that I scored for the club. The first of those two City goals came in a thrilling game when we found ourselves 2-0 with just 24 minutes gone, but we made the boos and the jeers turn to cheers with goals from Phil Mulryne, Tony Cottee (his one and only for Norwich), Chris Llewelyn and yours truly seeing us make a tremendous comeback to win the game 4-2. The other goal I was talking about came in our Championship-winning season on January 31 and, as I said, it’s right up there with some of the most important goals I scored for the club. It was a top-of-the-table clash as both us and Sheffield United had had a very good first half to the season and were fighting it up at the top of the league. It was a very close game with not many clear-cut chances until a ball broke to me in the 59th minute. It came to me perfectly, about 12 yards from goal and without breaking my stride I smashed it past the helpless Paddy Kenny and Carrow Road erupted. It was a very important win for us and as a forward there’s no better result than winning the game 1-0 with you getting the winner. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish both Russell Martin and Cameron Jerome all the very best at their new clubs. Both have been magnificent servants to the club and have been ultimate professionals while they’ve represented Norwich City and have always given everything when they’ve played. Both have taken harsh criticism in the last two or three seasons and at times been made scapegoats, but one thing is for sure, they’ve never hidden and taken everything on the chin and got on with things. Let’s hope that whoever comes in to replace Russ and Cameron will show the same level of commitment to Norwich City over the next few years.

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