Daniel Farke rues Carrow Road power cut in City’s 4-3 defeat to Derby County
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Daniel Farke was convinced a Carrow Road power cut denied Norwich City a Championship win against Derby in a bizarre 4-3 defeat.
Teemu Pukki had just nudged City back in front in the 81st minute when part of the floodlights at the River End failed, leaving that corner of the pitch bathed in a reduced light.
Farke revealed the referee opted to consult both him and Derby chief Frank Lampard before taking the teams off for a 15 minute break, while full power was restored.
Yet Farke's men dramatically imploded on the restart, with Florian Jozefzoon and Jack Marriott cashing in on more generous home defending to end the Canaries' 12-match unbeaten league run in a delayed finish that saw Jordan Rhodes slam a shot against the bar in the final seconds.
Farke admitted City were punished for defensive slackness by the Rams but felt the outcome hinged on the unforeseen break in play.
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'At 3-2 the whole stadium is celebrating, we have the momentum and if we had played further on we would have won the game. Then we have this floodlight break,' said Farke. 'I don't use this as an excuse and we won't. It is a situation you can't influence. But they had 25 minutes and that helped Derby to put their disappointment away, to make some changes and to speak about their response.
'It helped them a lot. We should have dealt with this better.
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'Our defending behaviour in the five minutes after the break was not good enough. We still had two or three unbelievable chances to equalise when Jordan Rhodes hit the bar from four yards.
'But five minutes in the first half and five minutes after the floodlight break cost us. We must speak about our awareness levels.
'When we had this problem with the lights it gave Frank some time to speak to his lads. The referee at first asked if we wanted to continue. I said of course we wanted to go further on. Frank said, 'No, we want to wait until the floodlights are back.' I would have probably done the same in his situation in order to break the rhythm and get some time with his team. No accusations from me on that.
'Then the referee had to decide we go inside and fix the problem for the next 20 minutes. There was a problem with the Hawkeye system as well as the light.'
Lampard used the unscheduled break in play to good effect.
'The referee came to me and said there was one floodlight down,' he said. 'Obviously they wanted to reboot it and that would take 15 minutes and then we would re-assess. It was quite simple for me. I was just trying to see if there was any way the game could be replayed and we could call it off [laughing]. Thank goodness I didn't. No, listen I wanted to win the game. But I had to be clear. My question was, 'Can we play with three floodlights?' and it didn't get beyond that.
'If it was a long break, any more than 15, it would have been an issue for the players. Not just mine by Norwich as well.'
Farke labelled his side's opening salvo the best of his tenure, with Pukki and Ben Godfrey slamming City into a deserved 2-0 lead before they were punished for failing to clear their lines on two corners prior to the interval.
'The best half of football from us in my time in charge. We were outstanding and dominating an excellent side,' he said. 'We were missing several key players. Derby had no idea how to handle our play. We scored twice and we were so much on the front foot.
'I have mentioned several times small things can change games and we defended sloppily on two set pieces and Derby were back in the game. It was difficult to handle this.
'We needed time to clear our heads but scored when we were on the front foot again.'