Norwich boss Daniel Farke has urged his players to be self-critical and not to feel sorry for themselves if the club is to avoid an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship.
The Canaries slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Wolves on Sunday to leave themselves seven points adrift of safety at the foot of the Premier League.
Farke accused his players of being “a bit soft and scared” against Wolves and lacking the kind of physical approach that is often required from a side that is deep in relegation trouble at this stage of a season.
While Farke recognises he cannot rip into his players so as not to undermine confidence, he has called upon them to instead analyse themselves in order they raise their own game.
“It’s important to back the players, for them not to lose their nerves because they always leave their heart out on the pitch,” said Farke, whose side has won just one league game in three months and are without a goal from open play in 562 minutes.
“It’s not like I’m sending them out and punishing my players. I back them but we also have to be self-critical to not feel sorry for ourselves and sometimes you have to be honest and approach things with a different body language.
“The players have proven they are capable of creating chances, of scoring goals, but each and every player has to be self-critical in order to step up into this area.
“It’s not possible now to bring in new players. If we’d have had the chance then we would have done it in January.
“If we want to give ourselves a chance (of survival) then we have to step up, and this will be the task over the next few weeks.”
Farke’s problems are again being undermined by injuries, as was the case earlier in the season, with the German confirming Onel Hernandez faces further surgery for a knee problem that will keep him “out for a few weeks”.
Full-back Sam Byram has been ruled out for the rest of the season following an operation for a hamstring problem, while centre-back Christoph Zimmermann looks set to miss Friday night’s home clash with Leicester due to his own ongoing hamstring issue.
Injuries aside, midfielder Alexander Tettey has issued an apology to the fans for his side’s abject display at Wolves.
“As a senior member of the squad, I just want to say we really apologise for our performance,” Tettey told the club’s official website.
“We didn’t help each other on the pitch. In the first 15 minutes, Wolves didn’t have anything and we were having shots on their goal but after that I don’t know what happened. We put each other in trouble and were losing the second balls.
“Our intentions are always to go out on the pitch and do our best. Sometimes, you need to do more than your best.
“Friday is a big game at home. Norwich fans have always stuck with us regardless, but we need to show them some desire and fighting spirit, while playing football on top of that.”
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