'We got the feeling we had to bring him on the pitch' – Tettey praised for his rapid Canaries return
The efforts of Alex Tettey to pull himself through 90 minutes on the opening day of Norwich City’s season have left head coach Daniel Farke amazed.
The 32-year-old only played 45 minutes of one friendly during pre-season before being sidelined by chickenpox but re-emerged to add welcome steel and experience during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Birmingham.
“Whatever Alex Tettey is doing, I want to speak with him because I want to do the same,” Farke joked of the rapid recovery of the former Norway international, who signed a new two-year contract at the end of last season.
“He is outstanding, his last game over 90 minutes was in April and then he was out with chickenpox.
“The doctor said it would last three weeks but after seven days he was there with individual training and an exercise programme and within two weeks he was back on the training pitch.
“We got the feeling that he was outstanding during the last week, without having a full game during the pre-season, and we got the feeling we had to bring him on the pitch for the first game day because he’s an experienced player and can handle it.
“I can just praise his performance because I think he was really outstanding.”
It was a similar story for summer loan signing Jordan Rhodes, with the Scotland international striker having tweaked an ankle during the penultimate friendly at Luton.
The 28-year-old played a full 90 minutes in just five matches for Sheffield Wednesday last season, scoring five goals in 31 Championships games for the Owls, with just 17 of those appearances coming from the start.
He was denied a goal by a fine save but should have scored from a close range header after a superb cross from Moritz Leitner during the second half at St Andrew’s.
“He was okay,” Farke said. “During the second to last week of pre-season he was injured and out for seven or eight days – and was only back in team training on Wednesday.
“It was also good to have him on the pitch with his experience, he was able to protect the ball and was pretty dangerous.
“When he comes into his rhythm then he will score and I’m pleased with him, thankfully we have the first game behind us now.”