‘Let’s not go for realistic targets, let’s try to create something extraordinary’ - City chief’s bold mission statement
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Daniel Farke wants Norwich City to stay one step ahead of any Championship copycats.
City’s rise to top spot has been powered by astute recruitment and developing young talent under a head coach who knows rivals are starting to cast admiring glances.
“Hopefully they do. That would mean they respect our way and appreciate what we are doing. But hopefully not too closely or they will end up copying us,” said Farke. “We had three really difficult seasons after relegation, we had to sell our best players and there was lots of financial pressure.
“It is a big compliment to Stuart Webber and the board, who did an outstanding job to solve this financial pressure. It was our way because we had no opportunity to sign quality, experienced players.
“I would love to spend £10m on a midfield player or offensive player.
“That would make my task easier but if you don’t have that you must fight with your tools and your plan. We believe in developing players and lads who are desperate to wear this yellow shirt with pride.
“We know we are a surprise and other clubs are a bigger favourite to be top of the league, but we try to be there with our strengths.
“We know for many we are perhaps over-achieving and that is good. Let’s not go for realistic targets, let’s try to create something extraordinary.”
City have lost once in the league in four months, after a mid-table finish in Farke’s debut season.
“At the start of this season I was not concerned,” he said. “We maybe conceded too many goals but I knew if we got into our rhythm we were capable of playing better. I was never panicked. Of course, if you don’t win games you are watching under every stone to find better solutions. We didn’t change anything in terms of our principles.
“Maybe the personnel changed. We had Jamal Lewis, who is important for us, was not available at the start.
“Or Max Aarons had just come from the academy. Marco Stiepermann was not so much involved at the start and now he is crucial in this role.
“I am not surprised. That would be the wrong expression. You have to believe what you are doing but I knew to be top of the league going this way would be tricky.
“When you buy a striker for £20m there is a better guarantee of goals than a free transfer but we found Teemu Pukki and we felt he could score goals.”