Farke hails Lees-Melou impact in Lincoln win
- Credit: Ian Burt/Archant
Pierre Lees-Melou's first day in a Norwich City shirt will take some beating after notching the winner in Tuesday’s 1-0 behind-closed-doors friendly outing against Lincoln City at Colney.
The summer signing from Nice was only eligible to feature after his work permit and international clearance came through after kick-off. That explained why he was not included in the original matchday line up announced on the club's social media channels.
Lees-Melou's quarantine period only ended in the morning, following his arrival from France, but he made his mark with a classy angled strike into the far corner to sink the battling Imps.
“Even in his first minutes you could see his quality and his experience,” said City head coach, Daniel Farke. “He is a player who has played many games on a top level with top class team mates in a really good league. A perfect situation.
"We know he is good from outside the box and he can decide a game. That is one of the reasons we wanted to sign him and it was good he was available to play.
“Two wins from two is always nice. But I got the feeling this was a difficult day in the office against a side who were ambitious, with better quality than our first game. We controlled the first half, were good in possession, but missed a few too many chances.
"In the second half, if I am honest, we moved the ball too slowly. We found it hard to create more chances against a well-structured defence. But we found a winner and it is always good to do that. We played efficiently, we won the game and we were solid defending our own goal.”
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Farke, speaking to the club’s media team at City’s training base, admits his early planning for the Premier League is being hindered by injury and unavailability.
“It is important not to over-interpret results at this stage,” he said. “For Lincoln, it is the game of their pre-season. They played aggressively but that is good.
"We need that type of test. Of course I am not over the moon, but the workload on the lads is quite high. I have to say the spirit around the group is very good. Even the new lads have adapted.
“Yes, it is a bit disturbing that not all the players are available. I hope soon players like (Grant) Hanley, (Ben) Gibson, (Kenny) McLean and (Sam) Byram can join us. Tim Krul and Teemu Pukki will soon join us, also Onel Hernandez. All in all. I am quite happy but lots of work to do.”