Norwich manager Daniel Farke was full of praise for rookie goalkeeper Daniel Barden after watching his side beat Coventry 2-0 at Carrow Road to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Barden, deputising for Tim Krul who was self-isolating after a positive Covid test, made some excellent saves to keep his side ahead after they had scored two early goals to take a firm grip on the tie.
It was the young Welshman’s second start for the first team and, with regular No 2 Michael McGovern out with a long-term injury, he is currently a key part of Farke’s squad.
Farke said: “Daniel made some really good saves in the second half and that will only be good for his confidence and will improve his standing in the group.
“The only way you can prove yourself is to play well in a proper game and he has done that. It is no surprise because we have all seen his potential in training.
“He is a confident young lad and it has helped him working with Tim Krul and Michael McGovern on a regular basis in training.
“He is also fortunate we have an excellent goalkeeping coach here in Ed Wootten, who has done a great job with him.”
Farke was delighted with the manner in which the lunchtime tie panned out.
He added: “I think it was a perfect afternoon for us. We made progress in the FA Cup, which is the most important thing, scored two good goals and kept a clean sheet and I will take that all day long.
“We were also able to give several players who needed a game some action while resting some others after a busy workload so there are many things to be pleased about.
“After a slow start it was a good first half for us. We played a bit slower in the second half rather than going for a third goal but I think that might have had something to do with tiredness of the players who hadn’t started a game for a little while.”
The Canaries got their noses in front after six minutes when Kenny McLean latched on to a clever pass from Todd Cantwell before confidently steering the ball past the exposed Ben Wilson.
Just 80 seconds later it was 2-0 as Jordan Hugill headed home Przemyslaw Placheta’s left-wing cross at the near post for his first Norwich goal in open play.
Coventry had their chances after that but found Barden in fine form. He made two excellent reaction stops to deny Max Biamou in the second half as the hosts booked their place in the fourth round.
Sky Blues boss Mark Robins felt it could have been a different story had his side been more emphatic early on.
He said: “We had a couple of really good chances before they scored and we were really on top in that period. Then they get a goal, really out of nothing.
“In terms of an attacking sense, it took a reorganisation to try and get a foothold in the game.
“The second half was a lot better but in terms of when we get chances, we’ve not worked the goalkeeper hard enough.
“Really, everything has gone straight at him – apart from one Max Biamou had, where he’s made a really good save. So, four or five really good clear chances that we didn’t manage to work the keeper on.”
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