(Reuters) – Promoted Norwich City’s main focus in the transfer window was to retain their key players ahead of the Premier League season and the club has been happy with the business conducted, manager Daniel Farke said on Thursday.
The German coach led Norwich back to the top flight in his second year when they clinched the Championship title on the final day of last season, but the Norfolk side have not spent as much as fellow promoted teams Aston Villa and Sheffield United.
“We were under lots of financial pressure in the past. We have a situation now where we can keep our best players,” Farke told reporters ahead of Friday’s opener at Liverpool.
“The most important focus during this window was to keep our group. I’m happy with the business we’ve done. We’re back in the Premier League and I will work with what I have.
“Big compliments to (sporting director) Stuart Webber, I think he has done an amazing job. We’ve made it clear from the beginning that we have to pay for some of the sins in the past and we are not able to spend a lot of money.”
Norwich’s attack will be spearheaded by last season’s second-tier top scorer Teemu Pukki, who scored 29 league goals, but they face a stern test at Anfield where Liverpool have not lost in 40 top-flight matches.
Farke was full of praise for compatriot Juergen Klopp, who led Liverpool to Champions League glory last term after they finished one point behind Manchester City in the domestic title race.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Klopp, he always delivers,” Farke said. “He was top class at Mainz and then at Borussia Dortmund. The job he has done at Liverpool is outstanding.
“He can be a role model in terms of his style at Liverpool. He has created a togetherness and I love coaches who can bring a certain style to a club.”
Norwich have not beaten Liverpool since a 1-0 win at Anfield in 1994 and the Merseysiders have scored at least three goals against them in six of their last seven encounters.
However, Farke believes his squad’s lack of top-flight experience could work in their favour.
“Our lack of Premier League experience could be a positive,” he said. “Our naivety could be a good thing. I want my players to go out there and think about why they first started playing football. I want them to be brave and enjoy playing.
“It’s always good when you are a bit nervous. It’s a big game and everyone wants to be involved. They are focused and concentrated on putting in a good performance.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)