Farke praises 'really focused' City stars as he plays down hype around Brentford battle
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Facing Brentford in a top-of-the-table clash is no more important to Norwich City than going to bottom side Wycombe was on Sunday for the leaders, insists head coach Daniel Farke.
The Canaries have pushed seven points clear of the Bees with five wins on the spin, navigating a tricky spell of matches against teams scrapping for survival in a fashion that thoroughly impressed Farke.
“I’m really pleased because these types of games are unbelievably difficult," City's boss said of his team successfully avoiding those potential upsets.
“Each and every game day proves this, how difficult it is to wins points against a side that is fighting with a knife between their teeth against relegation, especially when they are at home.
“Three days after the Coventry game, they were able to be there with a clean sheet win against Brentford and their home record is more or less fantastic, many clean sheets, and we were capable of winning this game quite comfortably.
“Also the same against Wycombe. Their last game was a clean sheet win against Reading and they’d had a clean sheet against Millwall, had won seven points out of the four games before they played us.
“So each and every game on this level is difficult and I got the feeling we were not just professional but really focused, really concentrated, really patient when it was needed.
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“For example, the first half against Wycombe it was important to remain disciplined, to be relentless, to exhaust them. We were also able to change our base formation a little bit in the second half in order to change our approach and our mindset, that we were open to accept the challenge.
“This is difficult to deliver every three days and I was quite pleased with this and many compliments to the lads, but there are still a few games to go and we have to prove this also for the upcoming weeks.”
Brentford arrive at Carrow Road (5.30pm kick-off) looking to cut the gap to the Canaries to four points, with the leaders sat 10 clear of third-placed Watford with 13 games remaining.
“If I’m honest we are used to that for each and every opponent it is more or less their game of the season," Farke said, playing down the importance of Wednesday night's big match.
“Every opponent speaks about this, so ‘Wycombe are highly motivated against the league leaders’ and also for Brentford right now talking about a ‘massive clash’.
“In the last years we have played games, I remember two years ago, Elland Road and Leeds were on fire, league leaders, and everyone was saying ‘we have to smash Norwich and then we are through’.
“We drove there, there were 45,000 people against us, buzzing in the stadium, and we were there with a pretty impressive win.
“Or at Villa Park in the last game, we needed to travel back with three points to win the league at a sold-out Villa Park, against a really good side, and we were able to return with a win.
“Or we had the opener of the Premier League season at Anfield, we had a game against Manchester City where the whole country was buzzing to watch this game. So if I’m really honest it’s not like we are there with goosebumps because we are allowed to play against Brentford in an empty stadium!
“Of course it’s an important game, like each and every game, and if you win points it could be the next big step but the season wouldn’t be done, the same as if we are not successful, it’s not like there’s no chance of promotion any more.
“So, yes, an important game, like our game against Wycombe was, like our game against Luton will be. So we are highly motivated, we are concentrated, we know we are playing against one of the best teams in the league, we know we need a top performance, but that’s it.”