Cantwell in the mix for Blues’ test
Daniel Farke admits money cannot buy that winning feeling, and he is greedy for more after Norwich City’s dramatic 2-1 Championship win at Rotherham.
City now host Birmingham and Wycombe over the coming days looking to cash in on a stoppage-time victory secured by Jordan Hugill’s 95th-minute penalty.
“It feels like a massive win. There is no replacement for this feeling. You can work on team building but you cannot buy these moments,” he said. “A win of team spirit and togetherness. To create such memories in a difficult period is vital for us. It was no coincidence Tim Krul was out of his goal celebrating at the other end of the pitch, and they were throwing their bodies on the line.
“I kept all my subs in the changing room at half-time because I wanted to get the message across to all the boys to keep this spirit up, to keep going.
“I can only salute our fringe players. After two defeats perhaps they felt they should be playing but I got the feeling they were encouraging the lads on the pitch from the first minute.
“I won’t over interpret the result. It is three points but a solid position to build on. We had four points from the first two games. If you hold that average over 46 games you are in the top two. Then no points from two games when we were the better side. Then a first half here where we miss so many chances again. But to score so late feels like relief.”
Captain Grant Hanley’s reaction to early adversity summed up Norwich’s spirit for Farke, after his first appearance in months went sour inside three minutes when he was involved in Freddie Ladapo’s opener.
“We had the worst start you could have,” he said. “Yes, Grant was a bit involved. He had the outside line, not the inside on the striker but his last start was before the lockdown. To be thrown into this cold water and concede after two or three minutes. I loved his reaction after. A top performance, a great leader and from then he was fully switched on.”
Hanley owed his elevation to the starting XI to a calf issue for Christoph Zimmermann. The Blues’ visit to Norfolk on Tuesday may come too soon for the German centre back but Todd Cantwell is expected to be in contention after sitting out the Millers’ win due to bruising caused in a training ground knock.
Cantwell has endured a difficult start to the season, with speculation rife over his future, but the Dereham prospect stayed at Carrow Road beyond Friday’s transfer deadline and now Farke tips him to be a big player in the weeks ahead.
“The games come thick and fast and we need all the players,” said Farke. “For Christoph the Birmingham game may come too soon but let’s wait and see. Both him and Todd were working at Colney over the weekend. Todd was not able to sprint on Friday otherwise he would have been in my plans.
“The international break was good for him. He was able to reflect. We had a long and honest conversation about everything that has gone on and his mindset in the last week was much better.
“But we had this little setback with some bruising.
“He has too much quality not to play an important role for us in the next weeks.”
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