Hurrah for Hanley ahead of City milestone
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Grant Hanley deserves top billing on the eve of a Norwich City landmark.
The Canaries’ captain will make his 100th appearance for the club in Tuesday’s Championship home game against Huddersfield at Carrow Road.
Hanley had emerged as priceless under Daniel Farke even before injuries to Ben Gibson and Christoph Zimmermann on the title run in.
The 29-year-old also guided teenage debutant Andrew Omobamidele through an assured full debut at Preston on Good Friday.
“He probably deserves to be even more in the spotlight for his performances of late. I am happy to have him as a player but also as a person,” said Farke. “Grant is fantastic in all topics. The quality of his performances, his leadership and, perhaps it doesn’t come through when he is playing, but his humour is fantastic in the dressing room.
"He is great for the younger lads - none more so than in the last game.
"He finds a great mix between making sure they are focused and concentrated and giving them lots of confidence. He is unbelievably important, even during the times he was injured or not playing each and every minute.
"I always go back to the last title winning season when his personality was important then. Now he is fit and in his rhythm. Yes, he is a good age for a centre back but I feel he is improving from month to month.
"His build up play has improved and his all round game is so good. Keeping in mind Christoph is out probably until the end of the season and Ben is definitely out he is even more important for us right now.”
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Omobamidele is poised for an extended run after grabbing his chance at Preston.
“I got the feeling when I had this decision to make he was ready for it,” said Farke. “I was not scared because he has convinced me.
"Of course there is a little doubt because it is his first appearance in a crunch time of the season, with a difficult preparation for the entire group.
"It was not a guarantee it worked out but I felt he was fantastic and he deserved a clean sheet.
“Andrew is full of potential. Not only his football skills but his personality. Playing at centre back you have to be able to handle the pressure, perhaps more than an offensive player who can take some risks and lose the ball and it is not always costly.
"A centre back has to play without mistakes.
"That is difficult for young lads at senior level for the first time.
“Our way is to trust young players but you have to fight to earn your chance. There are no gifts.”