‘Mario was outstanding’ – Vrancic is ready to star for City
PUBLISHED: 09:34 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:26 02 November 2018
Mario Vrancic has given Daniel Farke a selection dilemma for Norwich City’s return to Championship action.
The Bosnian international starred in the Canaries’ 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat at Bournemouth, but has had to bide his time in the league since an injury-disrupted close season.
The 29-year-old has yet to start a Championship game in 2018/19, although that could change this weekend at Sheffield Wednesday with Marco Stiepermann and Todd Cantwell major injury doubts.
“Mario was outstanding (at Bournemouth). So crucial for us,” said Farke. “We felt in that game he could have a special role for us. I got the feeling he dominated the balance of our team and we were able to work him into the positions near the goal where he could play the final pass.
“He was not so much involved in the recent games and perhaps not in his rhythm. That is difficult for any player.
“To then produce this type of performance it is a sign of his quality and his character.”
Teemu Pukki made a timely return from his hamstring injury towards the end against the Cherries, with Jordan Rhodes ineligible for the trip to his parent club. Timm Klose will also come back in after sitting out the defeat on the south-coast.
“Timm is a big leader for us. Unbelievable consistency this season.
“Also in the dressing room his body language and leadership is important for us,” said Farke. “Teemu is a key player and we missed him a lot in the recent games, even though we managed to win most of them, but we are happy and it was important for him to have 12 minutes, plus seven or eight minutes of added time.
“That is good for his confidence and he looked pretty sharp to be honest when he came on.”
Ben Marshall was a notable absentee at Bournemouth but the summer signing and Ivo Pinto remain in the mix.
“They are not out of my thoughts,” said Farke. “They are pretty close and it is a bit strange not to have Ivo in the (league) squad but that is due to Max Aarons’ unbelievably quick development and also the homegrown rule.
“With Ben it’s a bit different; he had some illness and injuries, so there is a chance for him to be involved in the next games.
“It was difficult for Ivo and Felix Passlack to be involved because we have this rule.”