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Daniel Farke proud of Norwich after Cardiff preparation disrupted by Covid-19

Cardiff City v Norwich City – Sky Bet Championship – Vitality Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Norwich manager Daniel Farke lauded his side’s 2-1 win at Cardiff after a week when he admitted they were more focused on Covid-19 tests than football.

Grant Hanley and Todd Cantwell struck in the opening 22 minutes as Norwich extended their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship to seven points before second-placed Swansea’s late game.

The Canaries reported nine Covid cases this week – four players and five backroom staff – while other members of the Norwich bubble have been laid low by flu.

“I’m pretty pleased, proud I have to say,” Farke said.

“We had such a difficult week with so many Covid cases, nine in our group, and others missed the games because of flu.

“When you show symptoms, it’s just flu but you are panicking a little bit. We had to confront so many positive cases and all the testing.

“Everyone was more focused on not panicking in waiting for the test results than being able to concentrate on football.”

Despite their illness and injury problems – top scorer Teemu Pukki is also currently sidelined with a side strain – Norwich have won eight of their last 10 games in all competitions.

Norwich had to withstand late pressure after Joe Ralls drove home after 65 minutes, despite Cardiff being reduced to 10 men soon after when Marlon Pack picked up a second yellow card.

“To deliver that performance was outstanding,” Farke said.

“We could have made our life easier in the second half. They got a goal out of nothing, but we got over the line.

“We have quality players, but we also have such spirit and togetherness.

“We are happy with 50 points at this stage. We are more or less labelled as the favourites in every other game, to deliver this consistency is outstanding but we have to keep going.”

Cardiff signed Max Watters for around £1million before kick-off after his scoring exploits at Crawley this season, with 16 goals in 19 games for the League Two club.

But it is now five straight defeats for Cardiff and the pressure continues to grow on manager Neil Harris.

“I’m really proud of the performance, what an effort by the boys,” Harris said.

“What an effort for the 90 minutes, but for the last 25, with 10 men, we went toe to toe with by far the best team in the division.

“On the whole, it’s a massive positive. It might sound crazy we didn’t get the point, if not three, we wanted.

“But that’s the level of performance my players have got to have for the rest of the season.

“The application, the attitude, we had on the back of the week we had was first-class and I expect more of that and more quality on Wednesday against QPR.”