Daniel Farke reveals Norwich City’s game of patience paid off in Grant Hanley chase

Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira was on target from close range to beat Birmingham City.  Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira was on target from close range to beat Birmingham City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Daniel Farke is enjoying the feeling of being spoilt for choice after his Norwich City shake up paid dividends in a 1-0 Championship win over Birmingham City.

Nelson Oliveira was on target again, but it was the Canaries’ defensive resolve that sealed the three points after recent heavy defeats on the road.

Russell Martin and Marcel Franke were notable casualties as Timm Klose made his first appearance of the campaign. Farke was even able to keep big-money signing Grant Hanley in reserve until the final moments at Carrow Road.

“I didn’t complain at any time in the early games, but that was the situation with the squad and the injuries and we had to deal with it,” he said. “Deep inside I knew it was not so easy to do without Timm, without a fully fit Ivo Pinto and so on. I knew pretty early in the (transfer) window I would like to have a centre back like Grant Hanley but to be honest he was a little bit too expensive at that stage in the window and then we had a chance to get him on the last days. For sure that helps. I also knew guys like Tom Trybull had to adapt and find his physical condition, the same for Marco Stiepermann. Now we have many options and that is good for the lads, not so easy maybe for the head coach because you have to make some hard decisions but it helps to have options.”

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Klose added ballast to a leaky backline and was involved in Oliveira’s early winner.

“I don’t want to praise him too much because we are not addicted to one player but like I said before Timm is a really important player for us,” said Farke. “We were really sad that he missed the first games. He was good aerially, a good presence with his leadership. From a football point of view I am happy that he is back. Our main topic was to be better defensively, to be better in the last row. We were nearly perfect.

“All the lads knew we needed to improve in our defensive behaviour because it is so important and I am really happy we did. It is good for their self-confidence that in a close game they can get a clean sheet, so to the last second you have to fight.

“It was important to score the first goal because something like seven of the eight games we have not managed that. Then it is not easy to win games at this level when you are behind. It was a clear goal of Nelson. It is always important for the striker to score. I said to Nelson it was 100pc your goal. A centre back can live without a goal. He was a threat at set pieces.”

Trybull in tandem with Alex Tettey also proved a key pairing.

“I was not happy against Millwall, especially, with the structure when it came to our pressing,” said Farke. “The most important thing is to control the centre and in this topic at Millwall we were not good. We were too poor in this area. For that, I wanted some more control and we chose to play Alex and Tom together. For this game it was the right choice because we won and we controlled the game.”

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