Monday, May 10

Norwich City boss Daniel Farke dedicates Championship promotion to fans

Norwich boss Daniel Farke says he hopes his side were able to bring fans “some joy, fun and distraction” after sealing their return to the Premier League.

Brentford and Swansea’s failure to win meant the Canaries were promoted before their 3-1 home defeat by Bournemouth.

After the match, Farke spared a thought for supporters who have been unable to go to games because of coronavirus.

“We dedicate this to our fans because it’s been such a difficult season for them and their private lives,” he said.

He told BBC Radio Norfolk: “During this pandemic many of them are fearing for their future, the financial impact, fearing for their job sometimes or their health, family members and friends.

“It’s a tough time and we hope we were able to bring them some joy, fun and some distraction and we wanted to make them happy.”

Despite Saturday’s loss, Norwich will secure the Championship title if they beat second-placed Watford at Carrow Road on Tuesday.

Asked if his players will be allowed to celebrate promotion this weekend, Farke said: “As long as they’re not too tired.

“I’m a bit too old for long celebrations and also, after a pretty long day, pretty exhausted and can’t wait to sit on my sofa.

“[But] it’s totally allowed – perhaps not the perfect preparation for Tuesday but the lads deserve it.”

Canaries playmaker Emi Buendia, who scored his 13th goal of the season in Saturday’s defeat, acknowledged it had been a “really tough season” but says the players are not yet done.

“It’s probably the best loss in my life,” he told BBC Radio Norfolk, referring to the Bournemouth match.

“This team wants to reach 100 points – we’re ambitious and hopefully we keep going.”

Norwich have already matched the 27 wins achieved in their Championship title success of two years ago and it is the earliest they have secured promotion since their first to the Premier League in 2004.

Leading scorer Teemu Pukki has scored 25 Championship goals to add to his 29 league goals in their 2018-19 title-winning campaign and says what they have achieved this season is “something else”.

“The fact it was five games before the end of the season when we got promoted tells the story of this year,” he said.

“We are the best team in the league and now we just need to finish it in style.

“I’m so proud of the boys. It’s never easy. You’ve seen it with other teams who’ve been relegated from the Premier League who haven’t gone straight back up.”

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