Across the Border: FA Cup tie has come at the right time for Farke’s team
With the busy festive period taking its toll on Norwich City, the FA Cup will provide a much-needed change of pace for Daniel Farke’s battle-worn Canaries.
Alex Tettey and Marco Stiepermann became the latest names to be added to the lengthy injury list – both withdrawn during the visit to Brentford on New Year’s Day.
In the end, City will be disappointed to come away from the trip to Griffin Park with only one point, with Dennis Srbeny spurning a great chance to snatch victory in stoppage time.
But having said that, I’m sure Farke was relieved to escape with that point after a performance which was lethargic and disjointed for the first 65 minutes.
In truth, had it not been for Tim Krul, who pulled off a number of top-class saves, City would have begun 2019 with a defeat.
Much has been said about Krul after a difficult start to his City career, but with every passing game I think we are seeing more of the ‘keeper that was deemed good enough to represent Holland at the World Cup in 2014.
After the bruising nature of the festive period, I would expect to see wholesale changes for tomorrow’s visit of Portsmouth in the FA Cup.
Of course Farke won’t want to disrespect the greatest domestic cup competition in the world, but City have bigger fish to fry – including West Brom next weekend.
But it does give a chance for a number of City’s fringe players to impress, as well as Kenny McLean, who looks set to make his first appearance since August following injury.
I was impressed with what I saw from the Scot in the first few weeks of the season and with Moritz Leitner side-lined until the end of the month, Kenny has the chance to put himself in contention for upcoming league fixtures.
While the FA Cup may not be City’s top priority right now, I for one will enjoy the respite from league football.