Daniel Farke has admitted it will take something “special” for his Norwich City side to progress in the FA Cup but feels a good result could be the catalyst for Premier League survival.
The Canaries remain rooted to the foot of the table, still six points from safety, after restarting the season in disappointing fashion by losing both games without scoring.
Norwich’s attention now turns to an FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United with very few giving them much of a chance of progressing from Saturday evening’s 17:30 kick-off (Norwich 13/2, Draw 19/5, Man United 4/9 – match result).
The Red Devils are still challenging for a top-four finish and will go to Carrow Road on the back of a fine 3-0 win over the season’s surprise package, Sheffield United, and Farke admits his side will have to produce a performance that has not been seen from his side for some time.
“We need a special day, and we need to be there with a special performance to give ourselves a chance,” Farke said.
“They’re in such good shape (Manchester United) and full of confidence, so we are realistic, but that’s what our task is. We want to be really, really special, especially after two disappointing results in the league.”
Norwich have already been beaten home and away by United in the Premier League, losing 3-1 at Carrow Road in October and getting thumped 4-0 at Old Trafford in January, while they have failed to score in six of their last eight matches.
However, they upset Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on penalties in the last round on the back of beating third-placed Leicester City in the league just before the season shutdown, and Farke is hopeful another shock could provide the impetus for clawing their way out of trouble (Norwich 20/1 to stay up).
“A special and unexpected win is always good for the mood and the confidence so there could always be a spark that helps you keep going,” Farke added.
Farke may restore Teemu Pukki, Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell to the starting XI after all three were benched for the Everton defeat last time out, while Marco Stiepermann is also pushing for a start after returning to the squad against the Toffees.
Pukki is 3/1 to score anytime against United on Saturday, one of several specials Betfred are offering on the quarter-final tie.