Daniel Farke was happy to avoid a Carabao Cup giant-killing after Norwich eased past League Two Stevenage 3-1 at Carrow Road.
The Canaries needed two goals in the final seven minutes, with the first a complete fluke, to avoid a potential penalty shoot-out drama, before booking a place in round two.
James Ball’s thumping free-kick drew the visitors level prior to the interval after Marco Stiepermann had headed City in front.
But it needed late goals from Christoph Zimmermann – a fortunate deflection from a corner -and Teemu Pukki to avoid the same fate as East Anglian rivals Ipswich, who lost on penalties at Exeter.
“I have just looked at some of the scores and I am glad we are not a giant-killing,” said Farke, who made 10 changes from the starting line-up that lost 4-3 in the Championship to West Brom at the weekend.
“It is always fine margins and of course when you make 10 changes you are a bit concerned about the rhythm of the side.
“I had a good feeling because it was most of the lads involved through pre-season. We have to be smart and don’t risk any injuries for the Sheffield (United) game and the next weeks.
“Jordan Rhodes played two 90 minutes close together after 14 months when he hadn’t played a lot of football. We wanted to rest Dennis (Srbeny) a bit more. We want lots of competition in the squad and the lads who come in have to put pressure on the others.”
The City chief cut a frustrated figure at times on the touchline at Carrow Road.
“There were some ups and downs and we will speak about the things that were not world class,” said Farke.
“That is what you expect when you have 10 changes. You will not be immediately in the rhythm. We had some guys making debuts and they were a bit nervous. The first half was difficult.
“We were not able to create many chances but I was actually pleased we didn’t have an easy win – that is good for the development of our young players. No, I am pleased overall and everything is okay.
“My body language and what I do at the sideline is not always how I feel inside.
“In the first half I got the feeling I had to be a bit more like a leader and teach the younger players.
“It is quite normal when Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell are together on the left flank they need some help in one or two tactical situations. Especially in the early part of the game but from minute to minute they were better in that regard.”
Stevenage boss Dino Maamria did not appear at the after-match press conference
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