Ivo Pinto ready to be unleashed against title-chasing Wolves
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Daniel Farke is ready to unleash fit-again captain Ivo Pinto on Championship title hopefuls Wolves.
Pinto has not played for a month, after a freak knee injury climbing out of his car, but was on the bench for Sunday’s dramatic East Anglian 1-1 derby draw against Ipswich Town.
Farke opted to keep Pinto in reserve again with Harrison Reed deputising impressively in his absence. The 28-year-old defender did race onto the field to celebrate Timm Klose’s 95th minte equaliser with his team mates, and Farke admitted afterwards that was as close as he wanted his Portuguese full back to get to the frenetic action.
Pinto is now poised to return for Wednesday’s daunting trip to Molineux.
“No, it wasn’t a tough call,” he said. “He wasn’t so much involved at the beginning of the week in training.
“When you return after injury it is not so easy to have three games in six days.
“We felt he couldn’t play here and at Wolves. From a tactical point of view we might need his speed at Wolves in defensive situations.”
Farke hinted at changes after another gruelling derby battle ensured the German preserved his unbeaten cross-border tally since joining the Canaries.
“These are special games for the club. To take four points is not world class, I would prefer six this season, but to be unbeaten is not too bad,” he said.
“I was not impressed with our first half.
“It was the poorest we have played for many weeks. Ipswich defended very well and it was not easy but we were not good in moving the ball. We were too slow in the head, too nervous.
“Perhaps it was because we had many young lads on the pitch and for several it was their first derby.
“It is quite normal they are highly-motivated but in the beginning it looked like they were feeling the importance of the game.
MORE: Have your say on our Pinkun forum
“At half-time I said we need to be brave and bring our game on the pitch because you got the feeling we were not so confident and comfortable.
“The reaction was much better. I want my team playing like in the last 45, not the first 45 minutes. We created more space between the lines.
“We have the passing quality to be the dominating team and that is what we did in the second half.
“Ipswich had to defend the whole second half and maybe they were a bit exhausted right at the end.”
Farke was delighted City’s unlikely defensive double act combined to devastating effect in the final seconds.
“It was probably the best cross of the whole game from Grant Hanley. It is not a coincidence Timm was there. He is greedy to score and good in those positions,” said Farke.
“It was a really concentrated finish. I am glad they are both in the spotlight a bit more after this game because together with Christoph Zimmermann they have been outstanding in the recent games.
“It is usually about the guys who score the goals or make the passes. They deserve the compliments.”
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt on the following channels…