Key players returning from injury does not guarantee results – Daniel Farke
Norwich head coach Daniel Farke does not want too much expectation on the players returning from injury as they look to kick-start their Premier League campaign.
After producing a memorable 3-2 win over Manchester City, the Canaries slumped to three successive defeats including their 5-1 thrashing at home by Aston Villa before the international break.
However, following some additional recovery time, the treatment room at Colney is slowly clearing.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul, midfielders Alex Tettey, Tom Trybull and Cuban winger Onel Hernandez – out since the opening game after injuring his knee in a fall when climbing stairs at home – are all set to travel to Bournemouth.
Full-back Jamal Lewis, Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell have all been passed fit after being forced out of playing for their respective countries.
Defender Ben Godfrey had a successful hernia operation over the international break, so will also be involved.
Scotland centre-back Grant Hanley, though, is set for up to eight weeks out following groin surgery.
With midfielder Mario Vrancic stepping up his rehabilitation after a calf problem, Farke could soon have nearly all of last season’s Sky Bet Championship-winning squad available.
The German head coach, though, knows just having more options does not automatically translate into positive results.
“The injury situation is much better. It’s not as bad as it was in the last few weeks, especially against Aston Villa,” Farke said.
“The break helped us to settle and recover, so it came at the right moment.
“When we have all our players fully fit we are competitive at this level, even though we are the underdog in every game because we are a newly-promoted side that didn’t spend lots of money.
“However, we have to make sure expectations aren’t too high.
“One thing is to have players in training, the other is to have them fully fit.”
The Canaries have already shipped 21 goals from eight Premier League matches.
Farke maintains he is “not naive” to the situation, one which has not been helped by the injury problems.
“You have to be solid in defending, whether you play football 20 years ago or now,” Farke told a press conference.
“It was quite normal that we were struggling a bit, but we have to reduce the goals we concede or we will have big problems.
“We are praised a lot for our brave and offensive style. None of our conceded goals are due to full-backs being too high.
“It is more to do with defensive behaviour. Of course we have to step up and find solutions as a team.”
Unlike the Norfolk club, Bournemouth have gone on to establish themselves in the Premier League since being promoted in 2015.
Farke said: “They stand for a special philosophy and style of play, so they can be a role model for us, improving from year to year, even though the first and second are unbelievably difficult.”