Daniel Farke spoke to the assembled media at Colney on Tuesday lunchtime with the biggest topic being the absence of Emi Buendia for the next three games and who replaces him.
???? Daniel Farke's pre-Reading press conference is about to get underway… #ncfc
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) April 9, 2019
Emi received the Canaries’ first red card of the season when he was sent off in the latter stages of the 4-0 win over Reading last Saturday.
Plenty of fans thought that he was harshly dealt with, me included after he was booted up in the air all afternoon and received no protection from the referee.
The challenge was reckless, sure, but it wasn’t that bad and the punishment of three games seems particularly harsh.
So, who replaces Emi?
Well, naturally, Daniel was unwilling to give too much away on that front but he did have a few things to say about the context of the sending off.
“Emi is a key player for us. He’s in a brilliant shape at the moment and important for the balance of our team. It’s a big blow but you have to handle it.
We have this group and we will find some solutions. Several players have been labelled irreplaceable for us but every time, we’ve showed we have solutions.”
“There was no chance to appeal the red card. It was classed as a dangerous tackle so that means an automatic three-game ban.
It’s hard to accept. I don’t to accuse anyone of the blame. I can understand the referee’s decision and the decision of the EFL.”
“Since the ban was confirmed, it’s been a difficult decision. I could replace one for one or change the balance of the team and moving other players around.
The gut feeling will decide it in the end.”
Farke also said that he basically has a choice of replacing Emi with a specialist player, like for like if you will, or to alter the balance of the whole team.
Daniel has rarely been knee jerk in his team selections and especially not this season, so I wouldn’t imagine that we will see wholesale team changes. I think he’ll keep it the same and probably replace Emi with either Cantwell or Vrancic.
As ever though, the City Head Coach was keen to keep feet on the ground and he stressed the need to be wary of clubs like Reading, who are in a relegation scrap.
Farke also spoke about the QPR game, which we could all see was a “comfortable” game with Farke revealing that the City players all ran the lowest distance in any game all season, except for Tom Trybull, of course.
Tom is, incidentally, fit after limping off at the end against QPR and he’s available for Reading and that goes for the rest of the squad.
With promotion so very close now, Farke finished his presser with this little gem.
“Lifelong City supporters have enjoyed great seasons. But to win a title does not happen that often. We have lads from the academy and you feel this season is special. My message to the fans is to enjoy it and make the most of it. Let’s get together and reach the final target.”