‘This was the first time he was there with this level of performance’ – Farke hoping Stiepermann can face Royals

Marco Stiepermann faces a late fitness test ahead of City's game at Reading Picture: Paul Chesterton

Marco Stiepermann faces a late fitness test ahead of City's game at Reading Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke is hoping Marco Stiepermann can shake off a hip problem ahead of tomorrow night's clash with Reading, after putting in a 'crucial' midfield performance.

The German was one of City's best performers during a fine 1-0 win over high-flying Middlesbrough at the weekend but was forced off during the closing stages.

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Stiepermann was signed for around £1million from German second tier side Bochum last summer but filled in at left-back before hernia surgery disrupted his first season with the Canaries.

But on Saturday the 27-year-old put in an accomplished display as a central attacking midfielder, justifying the faith of his head coach.

'It was not easy for him because one of his biggest strengths is that he is flexible,' Farke continued. 'We had to play him in the beginning in the left full-back position because we had many problems, and sometimes he had to play on the wing position.

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'I know this midfield role is probably his best position because he has all the ingredients you need to be there with a good performance for this position.'

The former Germany Under-20 international has played in all but two of City's league games so far this season, although the Boro game was only his second start.

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He started both Carabao Cup games though, scoring the opener in a 3-1 home win over League Two side Stevenage and setting up Dennis Srbeny's second during a 3-1 win at Cardiff.

'He is able to cover a long distance, he is technical, an outstanding player,' Farke continued. 'He is able to find a good mix with passing style but also to drive with the ball, he can play the finishing pass and assist, like he did for example before the goal with his vertical pass to Max Aarons.

'But he is also good out of shooting from distance, in addition to that he is a tall player able to win headers and has physicality. So we know probably this is his best position and I'm happy for Marco that he was able to prove this.

'We got the feeling in pre-season he played in the position and was really impressive in some games. We have lots of competition in this area but he was there with a really good performance at Cardiff as well.

'This was the first time he was there with this level of performance in a league game and we hope he can go on with this level of performances.'

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