Farke reveals title celebration curbs
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited
Daniel Farke would not be surprised to see Barnsley join Norwich City in the Premier League next season.
The Canaries will officially pick up a second Championship title on Farke’s watch at Oakwell when Grant Hanley lifts the trophy. But the Tykes have the chance to follow them to the big time via the play-offs after a surprising surge under Valerien Ismael.
The Frenchman tapped up his great friend for the inside track on English football prior to accepting the job in south Yorkshire earlier this season. That looks an inspired decision, even if the unfancied Reds will have to defy the odds against Bournemouth, Brentford and Swansea.
“They have every chance when I think about how impressive, especially in the second part of the season, they have been,” said Farke, with Norwich edging a tight league game at Carrow Road but losing in the FA Cup on their previous visit. “Perhaps a big surprise in the eyes of many, because you would have spoken about some other teams who are more capable to finish in the top six, but they truly deserve this.
“I think they will be highly motivated to finish as high as possible in the table and go into the play-offs with some momentum. We have to be at our best but regardless what happens in this game, they have good chances to be successful.
“What they have done is fantastic credit to the players, the staff and of course Valerien Ismael, who is doing an outstanding job over there. A bit like us no one expected we could get promoted two years ago. There might be bigger names involved in the play-offs, but the names are not important at this stage.”
City cut a swathe through the division with their attacking verve two seasons ago but this time around defensive solidity has laid a sturdy platform. Norwich’s resolve has pleased Farke, with the Canaries winning four games more on the road than any other team in the league.
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“First of all it was due to the quality of our work that we have delivered during the whole season but when you look at the away record this is also due to our mentality,” he said. “The mentality to show steel, especially in the away games. We know it is still same game of football but, away from home, you sometimes you have to dig in.
“Even without fans in the stadium it can be easier for the home team. You don’t have to travel, everything is familiar, in terms of surroundings.
“This mentality to show steel is something we definitely need to carry on into next season. I am fully aware it will be a bit more difficult to win as many away games of football in the Premier League but that ability to dig in, to show resilience and unity will be a major topic for next season."
City’s title-clinching celebrations against Reading last weekend were played out in an empty stadium. The same social distancing requirements ensure a trophy lift unlike any other.
Farke revealed on Friday injured duo Olly Skipp and Teemu Pukki will travel but cannot receive their medals on the pitch.
“This is the new reality,” said the City boss. “It is a weird feeling. We have to stick to the protocols and that means following social distancing. One topic we have been told is only the players involved on the day, and maybe the head coach, can get their medals.
"It feels strange that my coaching staff will not be able to be in the official pictures, or the lads not involved in this game like Teemu and Oliver.
"We live in strange times and this is a team effort. Oliver Skipp and Teemu Pukki have been an integral part. That is before you even get to a situation with no fans inside the stadium. We all remember celebrating with them at Villa Park. That day will live with us forever.”
Farke admitted those impromptu title celebrations last weekend with the fans outside Carrow Road felt like a small slice of normality.
Farke, his players and backroom staff enjoyed a brief socially distanced party with a few hundred fans who gathered out the City Stand after the title-clinching win over Reading.
In a season where the vast majority have been locked out it was a reminder for the City boss what this latest achievement means.
“You need those little moments outside the stadium, so we can share and feel what it means to the people,” said Farke. “Thankfully we had a taste of it. But it can be a motivation for next season as well when we will need them. It's important you value this moment and that you also remember these moments.
"We were so disappointed, if I'm honest, about the empty stadium because we had some magic days and magic nights when you think what it would have been like in a full house at Carrow Road.
"The place would have exploded. Mario (Vrancic’s) late goals, the moment we were promoted, or we won the title. Even the last home game for Mario and Alex (Tettey) and Xavi Quintilla.”