‘It was a bit of a gamble’ - Daniel Farke defends his rotation policy after drab Burton stalemate

Marley Watkins and Tom Naylor tussle at Burton.
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Marley Watkins and Tom Naylor tussle at Burton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke knew he was on a hiding to nothing after making six changes for Norwich City's 0-0 Championship draw at Burton.

Alex Pritchard and James Maddison were among those rested in the first half at the Pirelli Stadium with Farke trying to shuffle his pack ahead of Millwall's New Year's Day trip to Carrow Road.

City lacked the cohesion and the control that underpinned their 2-0 Championship win at Birmingham on Boxing Day, but the Canaries' head coach insisted it was the right call.

'A big risk. Yes, I know. It was bit of a gamble,' he said. 'There were not so many options. At Birmingham we had Alex Tettey, the first appearance in three and a half months. Jamal Lewis, the first in six months. Tom Trybull, the first in two months. Alex Pritchard has been out many months. '

It is not possible for these lads to play so many 90 minutes in a close period.

'To play twice within three days.

'Otherwise I would risk injuries. You have to gamble a bit. It was tricky whether we took the risk in this game or the next home one against Milwall.

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'From a technical point of view we felt Burton was the game to take a risk. The pitch is really awful, it is not good for technical passing for guys like James Maddison or Pritchard or Josh Murphy.

'Burton is a tough place. They are annoying with their style. They play the long balls and you have to struggle for the second balls so we wanted to be a bit more robust, a bit more physical.

'Then we could rest key players for Millwall while calming this one down in the first half and win the second half.

'It was nearly like we planned. I wanted to bring in Josh but Alex Tettey had to come on because of the injury to Harrison Reed and I wanted to rest him for the whole 90 minutes.

'It is not too bad. Two clean sheets after a really tough run. It was important to have these four points. We were full of respect for Burton.

'They had an unlucky loss against Leeds. A draw is not too bad.

'But to be honest, a bit disappointed we were not able to use one of our situations in the final 30 minutes. That was the plan. If you analyse our games, we are very good in the second half.

'We had two or three situations so we are not totally happy.'

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