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Philipp Lahm, Joshua Kimmich, Harrison Reed. Norwich City loanee keeping good company

PUBLISHED: 14:17 03 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:17 03 February 2018

Tom Trybull tussles for the ball with Jonny Howson at the Riverside earlier this season.  Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Tom Trybull tussles for the ball with Jonny Howson at the Riverside earlier this season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Daniel Farke tipped Middlesbrough for Championship promotion before a ball was kicked. Now he reckons Tony Pulis' arrival makes them even more formidable.

Daniel Farke goes up against Tony Pulis for the first time. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdDaniel Farke goes up against Tony Pulis for the first time. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Farke is relishing the challenge at Carrow Road on Saturday, but ranks the Teessiders as the benchmark in the second tier.

“Before the season started if you asked me who were the top favourites for the title, I would have said two - Wolves and Middlesbrough,” he said.

“They have spent lots of money in the offensive areas and did lots of business in the last window and brought in really high quality.

“They also have an experienced coach and really want to get back in the battle for promotion.

“I am full of respect. His work in the recent years speaks for itself.

“His teams are always well-structured.

“You can see a small change of style in the way Middlesbrough played under Garry Monk and how he wants them to play.

“They are a bit more focused on defence, working against the ball.

Ivo Pinto is ruled out with a knee injury. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdIvo Pinto is ruled out with a knee injury. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“It is quite difficult to create chances and score goals against them.

“That is a good combination when you have quality in attacking areas and a coach who can add that organisation against the ball. I am looking forward to meeting him.”

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Farke confirmed on Friday Ivo Pinto remains out with the knee injured in a freak accident climbing out of his car. Harrison Reed grabbed his chance at Brentford and the City head coach has no fears repeating the experiment.

“I was not surprised. He’s intelligent and reads the game really well – he’s good technically, he’s aggressive and runs well on the wing too,” said the City head coach.

Harrison Reed turned in a composed shift at Griffin Park. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdHarrison Reed turned in a composed shift at Griffin Park. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“Harry was really good at Brentford, but it’s what I expected. Holding midfielders can often adapt really well to playing at full-back, and he enjoyed the challenge. It helps to have an experienced guy like Grant Hanley behind him.

“We had the same in Germany, with Philipp Lahm and Joshua Kimmich.

“They started as holding midfielders and the biggest part of their career they were in the full back position.

“It is possible to do it that way around.

Tony Pulis is trying to guide Boro into the promotion shake-up. Picture: PATony Pulis is trying to guide Boro into the promotion shake-up. Picture: PA

“Ivo’s much improved, and we thought he’d be available but we’ve still got the feeling it’s a bit of a risk as he still feels a bit of a pain in his movements.

“I hope he can return next week.”

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

Paddy Davitt on Twitter @paddyjdavitt

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