Daniel Farke will not be obsessing over the table this season but believes Norwich are better equipped to stay in the Premier League this time.
The Canaries secured a swift campaign back to the top flight after winning the Sky Bet Championship for the second time in three years last season. Having ended the interrupted previous Premier League campaign rock bottom, finishing with nine successive defeats following Project Restart, the only way is up.
Norwich have cashed in on selling star man Emi Buendia for a club-record fee to Aston Villa, but also moved quickly to bring in fresh talent – including Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour on a season loan from Chelsea.
Liverpool come to Carrow Road on Saturday, before Norwich face a daunting trip to champions Manchester City followed by the visit of FA Cup winners Leicester and then travel to Arsenal.
Farke, though, maintains just focussing on finishing one place above the drop zone would not allow everyone to see the bigger picture.
“I wouldn’t take it (17th) because it is important that after the season we have ground out everything which is possible and finished in the best possible position – and I cannot tell you right now what this position will be,” the German said.
“We will not be too addicted to the table. We know if we finish in position 17, we will get lots of praise, everyone will celebrate and probably have a ‘not relegated parade’ through the city.
“I always want the maximum, so I cannot tell you now that I would be happy with the position 17, when it is even possible to finish in a better position.
“I want to go into each and every game as the best Norwich City side we can be to deliver with top performances and results, then we will see the outcome.
Farke added: “We are much better prepared than we were two years ago, when we needed the Premier League money to pay for our sins in the past, to pay all the money back which we owed.
“We invested in the infrastructure, training ground and extending contracts. We got many compliments, but would have needed a miracle to stay there. Because our set up was not made for the Premier League.
“We are still the underdog, but we are better prepared now as group of players, have been able to bring quality players in.
“This time around, we don’t need a miracle, just we need a bit of luck with injuries and unbelievable hard work.
“We get the feeling we are much better prepared this time and we can turn the fine margins around.”
Farke responds to Cantwell speculation
Midfielder Todd Cantwell should be available after an ankle problem, but Poland winger Przemyslaw Placheta is not yet fully fit after struggling with the consequences of a Covid-19 infection.
Cantwell, 23, has again been at the centre of transfer speculation this summer.
Farke said: “You can never say never in this business, especially as a self-funding club when some crazy offers come in.
“But we are in a top-class position. We want to keep the squad; the plan is not to sell our best players now.
“Hopefully in the next days we can even improve the squad a little bit in a few areas.”
Farke knows Norwich will tackle the first of many testing encounters when Jurgen Klopp’s side head to Norfolk.
“We are not the favourite in this game, but it will be like this for the majority of games and we have worked so hard to get these opportunities,” he said.
“We will fight with our tools to be competitive.”
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