Norwich City v Sunderland preview: Daniel Farke confident Canaries can learn from mistakes
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Daniel Farke is under no illusions Sunderland will probe Norwich City’s backline for any more signs of the weakness exploited by Swindon Town in the midweek League Cup tussle.
City squeezed into round two, and a home date against Charlton, but only after conceding two identical goals from near post free kicks.
Farke warns his troops Sunderland’s direct style is likely to test the Canaries’ defensive resolve on Sunday.
“When we look at our first league games, with Fulham, Sunderland, QPR and Aston Villa we know that is quite a hard start,” he said. “Sunderland is a relegated team, who will want to go back to the Premier League, and they have very good individual players. It is another type to Fulham; more about robust defending and playing a little bit more with long balls and relying on individual quality. It is going to be hard work for us. Simon Grayson is known as a coach who is able to defend very well, to get his sides very compact. It won’t be easy to create chances. But this is our first home game in the league.
“There is no book you can read where it says what is better, defending the space or man to man marking. There are advantages and disadvantages. We have our style, more to defend the space, but it is always about being aggressive and having the will to attack the ball. We have watched the television pictures again from Swindon and we have worked on this topic in training, we have to improve it. There were big problems in this area last season. The guys know we have to improve.
“Our idea is to defend a little bit more in the space, but with high responsibility in your area of the pitch. If we are in a defending position we have to make the first move, in comparison to the opponent. When one guy falls asleep in man to man situations then it is perhaps clearer but it is the same principle. If one or two guys are not awake, not hungry then you will concede.”
Much of the focus for a reluctant Farke has been at the top end of the pitch, and the fallout from Nelson Oliveira’s frustrations at Craven Cottage.
“For sure, Nelson knows he made a mistake. He apologised in front of the group and now for me the topic is finished,” said the German. “He has to prove it on the pitch and in the dressing room but for me it is finished.”