Swansea boss lavishes praise on Canaries for 'courage' to stick with Farke
PUBLISHED: 14:58 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 06 March 2019
Swansea boss Graham Potter has lavished praise on Norwich City ahead of his team's attempt to try and disrupt the Canaries' promotion push.
The Swans have discovered how difficult it is to shake off the Premier League relegation hangover on and off the pitch this season, sitting 14th and seven points adrift of the play-offs with 12 games to play.
Potter’s team have struggled for consistency but the former Ostersunds boss is holding up Daniel Farke’s superb second season at Norwich as an example of what can be achieved with patience.
Asked whether he thinks Norwich will be promoted, speaking ahead of Friday night’s televised Carrow Road clash, he said: “I don’t know, I’m not in the business of predicting, but they’re the best team at the moment. They’re deservedly where they are and I think it’s a football club which deserves a huge amount of credit and respect.
“They made some tough decisions after relegation, the leadership of the club, the board, have showed courage with that, had an idea around what they wanted to do going forward.
“I don’t think it was straight forward for them in the league last year, you can see there were some bumps in the road but they had the courage to stick with their idea and they should be commended for that.
“Daniel as a coach has been fantastic, the team have been playing some really good football this year. Intelligent recruitment, they follow a clear idea, they should be an example for us all I think.”
The South Wales side have had to contend with similar financial challenges that Norwich have dealt so well with since Stuart Webber’s arrival as sporting director in April 2017, bringing in around £30m from selling the likes of Alfie Mawson and Sam Clucas and sending high earners such as Wilfried Bony, Jordan and Andre Ayew and Jefferson Montero out on loan.
The success of low-cost signings of players including Teemu Pukki, Emi Buendia, Moritz Leitner and Christoph Zimmermann have seen Norwich prosper though, leaving many Championship teams wondering how the current leaders have managed their success.
“They have a good understanding of the German market, some other markets, they’ve brought some of their younger players through, free transfers, so really intelligent recruitment,” Potter continued.
“Stuart Webber has done a fantastic job there as sporting director, supported by a board who know how they’re working, supported by the coach and the players, so congratulations to them for the work so hard.
“I’m sure they’ll say they’re not the biggest spenders in the league, again by an idea and strategy that they’ve wanted to follow through and they’ve done good work.
“So well done to them for that and for us it’s just to look at how we can work ourselves, in a similar situation in terms of relegation from the Premier League, we have to have the same sort of thoughts going forward and use what we have here to go forward and establish ourselves going forward and improving.”