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Highlights on Off The Ball

Farke praises Omobamidele debut but calls for fans to cut team slack

Norwich boss Daniel Farke has lavished praise upon Andrew Omobamidele, following his first Premie...

Farke praises Omobamidele debu...

Farke praises Omobamidele debut but calls for fans to cut team slack

Norwich boss Daniel Farke has lavished praise upon Andrew Omobamidele, following his first Premier League start. 

The 19-year old made his top flight debut last week, playing the full 90-minutes of the Canaries' 1-0 defeat away to Arsenal.

Omobamidele had helped Norwich gain promotion last season, playing in each of their last eight Championship matches.

Following the summer arrivals of Ben Gibson and Ozan Kabak, the Republic of Ireland defender faced falling down the defensive pecking order at Carrow Road.

But Farke was delighted with Omobamidele's display at the Emirates.

Asked if Kabak and loan signing Mathias Normann might feature at home to Watford this weekend, the Norwich manager said, "First of all, many compliments to Andrew and also to Christos [Tsolis] for their debut.

"I think they were - for such a young age, and then to be there with their debut - outstanding.

"It's good to have them as options, and the same also with Ozan and Mathias, they're great options to have.

"We must not forget with Ozan, for example, his last competitive game on league level was in April for Liverpool. Yeah, he had the full training week right now, and he has proven also his quality during the training week."

Four games into the new Premier League season, Norwich are the only team in the division still to win a point.

They host a Watford side on Saturday who - despite starting the season with a win - have lost each of their last three games.

Aside from praising Omobamidele, Farke launched an impassioned defence of his other centre backs following criticism from some quarters.

"My centre backs were criticised a bit after the first games for conceding a few goals," the German said, "They are not good enough for the Premier League.

"But it is important we stay positive, stay respectful and remember what these lads have done for this club.

"Ben [Gibson], I have worked quite long in this business, but I have never worked with a centre back who is as good in his build up play.

"He is outstanding with his left foot. What he does in the dressing room, even if he is not playing, he acts like a captain with his personality. He is smart in his tactical movements.

"It doesn’t mean he is involved in every game. He was left out at Arsenal, but that doesn’t mean we can criticise him for the games before. We should be proud we have a player like Ben Gibson.

Regarding Grant Hanley - who partnered Omobamidele at Arsenal - Farke said, "Grant is a massive rock for us last season. Our club captain. So important for us.

"Of course as a defender, when the team concedes goals you are sometimes involved. But it is important we are not critical."

"We need these player to lead. You can go through each and every position. It is more difficult to keep clean sheets and shine like he did in the Championship."

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Andrew Omobamidele Ben Gibson Daniel Farke Grant Hanley Norwich Norwich City Premier League Teemu Pukki