Daniel Farke felt his title-winning Norwich side finished the season in style after coming from behind twice to secure a 2-2 draw at play-off semi-finalists Barnsley.
The Canaries won a share of the spoils as Emiliano Buendia and substitute Adam Idah cancelled out Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin efforts.
Farke also admitted that it was a bruising end to the Sky Bet Championship season with midfielder Kenny McLean suffering suspected knee ligament damage, making him a Euro 2020 doubt for Scotland.
But the German chief went on to express his appreciation for the guard of honour given to his team by the Tykes and the bottle of champagne he received from opposing manager Valerien Ismael.
“He’s French, so it will be good,” laughed Farke, before adding: “It was a proud moment to lift the silverware.
“It was the peak of a fantastic season and I felt we finished it in style. I am pleased we came back from behind twice and Emiliano had a great chance to win it, but I am very pleased with 97 points nevertheless.
“Barnsley are very hard to play against. They are always competitive and we suffered a few injuries but I have full respect for what they have done this season and, after the game, they showed their class and they deserve their chance to finish the season off as a Premier League club too.”
Ismael’s team will now prepare for a two-legged tussle against Swansea, who twice beat them 2-0 either side of the turn of the year.
The former Crystal Palace defender insists those results will count for little, though, with his team having won 13 of their last 19 matches – an end to the season only bettered by league runners-up Watford.
“We played them twice in the space of a short time when Swansea were really strong, but the momentum has changed,” said Ismael.
“Daryl Dike and Carlton Morris coming in has given us more options and we’ve got a desire now to change the story of the season against Swansea.
“It’s an incredible achievement to finish the season where we have done after how it started and what happened last season [Barnsley were only spared relegation after a 90th-minute, final-day winning goal at Brentford].
“It’s down to the players’ commitment on the pitch. They have dedicated themselves to the principles of how we want to play football and I also want to pay tribute to my backroom staff, because everyone gives everything here.
“I really hope we can now get a big reward in the play-offs because, when you believe in something, you can achieve some great results.
“It was important for us to finish strongly against the champions and I thought we were back to the intensity we have shown throughout the season.”
Ismael added that captain Alex Mowatt was rested against Norwich due to a groin issue but the former Leeds midfielder is expected to recover in time to face the Swans.
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