'This is really not normal in professional football' – Farke thrilled by spirit of his Norwich City squad
Teemu Pukki may have been the man of the moment yet again but head coach Daniel Farke made sure to share the praise around his high-flying Canaries squad.
Pukki fired the only goal of City’s tough match at Blackburn in the 86th minute, scoring his 14th of an excellent season to reclaim top spot in the Championship, only for Leeds to snatch it back.
“Big compliments to Teemu, he was again there with a crucial goal,” Farke said. “Sometimes as a striker it is easy to be there with the fifth or sixth goal but he is there with the determining goal.
“But to be honest I’m not so interested in praising Teemu too much because the press and our supporters will do this. I’m much more interested in praising my group of players, for example when I think about Grant Hanley, Jordan Rhodes and Ben Marshall, for them it was a massive game to come back to Blackburn with so many emotions.
“To then not be in the starting line-up, handle this situation and be so supportive and helpful for us, especially for the young lads, was outstanding – this is really not normal in professional football.
“That’s big compliments for our togetherness, our team spirit, and this is crucial at the moment.”
Moving on to 47 points at the halfway stage maintained City’s unexpected promotion push but the win came at a cost, with Farke annoyed by the tackles which leave Emi Buendia and Moritz Leitner as major doubts for the Boxing Day home clash with Nottingham Forest.
However, the German took pride in his team surviving the physical challenge posed by Rovers, to eventually take control and pour forward in search of the winner at Ewood Park – extending their unbeaten run to 11 matches.
“Each and every team is highly motivated when they face a side who at the moment are in the automatic promotion ranks and everyone knows they are unbeaten in several weeks, and wants to beat them,” he continued.
“Blackburn are in brilliant shape and especially in the home games they are in brilliant shape, so I am full of respect for what Tony (Mowbray) is doing, his work and big compliments to his players.
“It’s a tough place to go but we tried to be there even in this situation when it was eve a bit more difficult with all the situations we had to handle.
“Each and every Championship game, especially away games, are competitive so to handle this situation was even more difficult today but we were able to do this, so big compliments for the lads.”