Lack of depth is start­ing to hurt Farke’s strug­glers

Nor­wich could not have pre­pared for in­jury list Brighton dis­play their strength with 2-0 win

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Football - At The Amex Sta­dium

“I would pre­fer to have as many points as ba­bies dur­ing this week,” de­clared Nor­wich City’s af­fa­ble Ger­man man­ager, Daniel Farke.

The tally reads: Points 0, Ba­bies 2 fol­low­ing new ar­rivals for Onel Her­nan­dez and Kenny Mclean.

The only point the Ca­naries have col­lected since their mem­o­rable win over Manch­ester City in Septem­ber was at Bournemout­h and, af­ter go­ing down 2-0 at Brighton, no team has lost more Pre­mier League games so far this sea­son.

Nor­wich have spent the least of the pro­moted sides and suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries to de­fend­ers Tim Klose, Grant Hanley and Christoph Zim­mer­mann while Eng­land Un­der-21 cap­tain Ben God­frey has only re­cently re­turned from a her­nia op­er­a­tion.

“Not so many teams in world foot­ball have to ac­cept three longterm in­juries to cen­tre-backs,” said Farke. “If we would have known be­fore the transfer win­dow was closed that there would be three long-term in­juries we would have done some­thing but you can’t pre­pare for this.”

Farke re­fused to give any guar­an­tees that he would use the Jan­uary transfer win­dow to re­in­force his squad, in­di­cat­ing that Nor­wich do not have the funds re­quired to im­prove the team sig­nif­i­cantly.

“If I’m re­ally hon­est, if we would have had the pos­si­bil­i­ties, we would have brought them in al­ready in the sum­mer be­cause we are not naive. We know that if you are able to add some qual­ity to the squad, you have a bet­ter chance to stay in this league. In order to add more qual­ity we would have had to sign a player for £10mil­lion-£15mil­lion and we are not able to do this,” said Farke.

By con­trast, Brighton, who claimed their third home win in suc­ces­sion with vic­tory over Nor­wich, are look­ing in­creas­ingly solid at the back and their squad strength was un­der­lined when Shane Duffy could be called from the bench to re­place Adam Web­ster in the first half.

Gra­ham Pot­ter is await­ing news of Web­ster’s an­kle in­jury but Duffy and Lewis Dunk is a com­bi­na­tion that has served Brighton well since their re­turn to the Pre­mier League.

“He’s not happy be­cause he wants to play,” said Pot­ter of Duffy. “But I wouldn’t ex­pect any­thing else.”

Cap­tain Dunk was as­sured in his han­dling of Nor­wich’s Teemu Pukki and, although he was left out of Gareth South­gate’s most re­cent Eng­land squad, Pot­ter is pleased with his form.

“We’re de­lighted with him [Dunk]. He can de­fend the box as well as any­body but his com­po­sure to bring things out of the sky and to start an at­tack off again is at a real high level. It keeps the pres­sure on the op­po­si­tion. He’s ma­tur­ing and as a cap­tain, he’s grow­ing into that role. He’s get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter.”

Another strength for Dunk is his ver­sa­til­ity and Pot­ter has al­ready used him in a back three and in a more ortho­dox back four this sea­son, adding: “He could prob­a­bly play hold­ing mid­field as well to be fair – but don’t tell him that! He’s a top player.”

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