'Outstanding' impact of substitutes Leitner, McLean and Srbeny thrilled Canaries boss
The ‘outstanding’ contribution of Norwich City’s substitutes thrilled head coach Daniel Farke on the opening day of the new season – showing that football is a squad game.
Midfielder duo Moritz Leitner and Kenny McLean were introduced in the 63rd minute with the Canaries trailing 1-0 at Birmingham City and sparked an attacking surge which nearly earned a victory.
Onel Hernandez scored equalisers after two sloppy concessions, with the goal that made it 2-2 in extra-time coming after a tricky run from another substitute, striker Dennis Srbeny.
“I thought Moritz was outstanding when he came on and Kenny McLean also. After Marco Stiepermann came off he had to adapt to the left full-back position and he had never played this position in his whole life,” Farke said. “But we had to find a solution after the injury and he was pretty solid in this situation.
“Dennis Srbeny was outstanding, he created so many situations. This is what I always speak about though, you need this togetherness and sometimes you are not allowed to play for 90 minutes, just 19 minutes or just 90 seconds – but whenever you are on the pitch you have to think about the group and have to try to have a big impact for the group.
“For example, Dennis Srbeny, normally you would come in yourself as a striker and be greedy just to score yourself, to be the hero.
“No, he was able to win the duel, drive to the goal and to assist Onel Hernandez. Right now Onel shines pretty bright but I’m totally pleased for Dennis because without this situation Onel would not be able to score – I think it was outstanding for Dennis.
“This is something I always speak about, we do not need 11 players, we need the whole group and this was a great example of this.”
With Jamal Lewis back in training after missing pre-season, Stiepermann’s injury could leave James Husband as the only left-back option.
“We will see, he came back down to the ground after a header and felt some pain in his knee,” Farke continued.
“So we will have to assess this, perhaps we will need a scan, I can’t judge it, it’s a bit too early because I’ve had a short chat with the physio and he told me about the problem but it is too early.”