Daniel Farke reminded anyone doubting Norwich City not to write them off despite being unable to “guarantee” safety following their first win of the Premier League season.
At the 11th time of asking, Norwich returned to winning ways as a Premier League club. They beat fellow promoted side Brentford 2-1 in an away match. The goals were scored by Mathias Normann and Teemu Pukki for the Canaries.
Brentford hit back in the second half, but Norwich held on to claim an important three points in the battle against relegation.
They have still given themselves an uphill battle after their sluggish start, but manager Farke is relieved to have increased their points tally from two to five.
Farke told BBC Sport: “To have the first win under the belt is a big relief for the whole club and the players.
“There was some criticism and pressure. We need to win many, many points and it feels good to have the three points today.
“At this level all games are unbelievably tight. It is about fine margins but we deserved to lead at half time. Pukki had a great chance to make it 3-0 in the second half but if you don’t score we have a young group and can make mistakes.
“After we conceded then we got a bit nervous. You either have to score the third goal or fight until the end and show resilience and that is what we did. Sometimes a hard-fought win is even better for morale.
“It was crucial today because we are not a team that wins second balls or physical battles. I think the first 60 minutes we were excellent, yes of course we were nervous in the second half and we had to show our other side which is resilience and steel.
“I am always balanced. They were all tight games before, we had no chance against the top three but other games were tight. It shows football is about fine margins.
“It is a marathon, a long road. I feel the longer we work together the better we will be as a team. I can’t guarantee we will stay up but I can guarantee there is so much fight and so much spirit.
“Better don’t write us off.”
Thomas Frank gives balanced Brentford take
Brentford will also likely be looking over their shoulders throughout their first Premier League season. However, they are not under as much pressure yet, having earned 12 points from their previous 10 games.
Their boss Thomas Frank took confidence from their second-half performance, even if he was not happy about the result.
Frank told BBC Sport: “I thought we started extremely well. Created two half opportunities but then Mathias Normann turned into Messi, ran through five people and put it into the back of the net.
“We kept pushing, kept creating and in the second half there was only one team on the pitch. We scored, had one disallowed and had some massive chances.
“I can’t complain about effort. I believe in the performances and the law of statistics say if we continue like this we will be fine.
“We knew this would be a tight game. Average first half, a very good second half and normally that is enough to win a game.
“My body is burning, I hate losing. I will be devastated tonight but then I will have 24 hours and then need to go again.
“Out of the last four games we lost – three top performances we should have won and we were bad against Burnley.”