‘I’m totally pleased with this week’ – City stars reacted to Farke’s challenge

Daniel Farke kept a close eye on his players during training at Colney this week Picture: ANTONY KEL

Daniel Farke kept a close eye on his players during training at Colney this week Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Daniel Farke has been pleased with the response to the challenge he laid down to his players ahead of today's opening day of the season.

The Canaries' head coach blasted the sloppy efforts of some of his players during their 1-0 loss at League One side Charlton in their final pre-season friendly – and demanded a response in training, making clear he was yet to settle on a starting line-up.

'I'm totally pleased with this week, with the performances,' Farke said ahead of this afternoon's Championship opener at Birmingham. 'I'm a deep believer in you play how you train, but it's never a guarantee.

'A good pre-season or a good last week, or especially a good last session, is never a guarantee that you are there with an unbelievable, world class performance in the first game.

'But I'm not a believer in coincidence. I'm a believer in hard work and well deserved benefit and all I can say is that I have the feeling we are well prepared – but the most important thing is we bring that onto the pitch.'

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Farke was also able to deliver an improved fitness bulletin, with striker Jordan Rhodes back in training after an ankle knock and in his plans for the trip to St Andrew's.

Alex Tettey, Ivo Pinto and Jamal Lewis are also all back in training after missing much of pre-season but are unlikely to be able to feature yet.

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While also confirming that striker Nelson Oliveira will not be involved against the Blues as his exit looms, despite being in training, the German was clearly eager to get his second season in charge of City up and running.

MORE: Canaries chief doesn't want to limit ambitions – as Oliveira exit looms

'I feel totally refreshed and recreated after a break and pre-season,' Farke continued. 'It's always the same, you want to have the competition because we are competitors, the players and the coaches.

'Sometimes in terms of man management it's not so easy because you have to have some tough decisions in the squad, or who is in the starting line-up and at least in the last week we have had 22 or 23 players on the pitch sometimes.

'You can't fulfil all the expectations. So as a player you can't wait for the real stuff to start but for a coach there are some tough decisions to make and it's not so easy to sleep at night.'