On August 26, 2017, new Norwich City manager Daniel Farke must have been worrying for his job. The Promotion favourites had slipped to their third defeat in 7 games and had amassed a range of inconsistent results.

The latest was a 4-0 thumping at the hands of newly promoted Millwall. Things were looking bleak. To those on the outside, the Canaries gamble on this new and untested German manager was starting to cost them.

Replicating Huddersfield’s success

Two seasons ago, the Huddersfield hierarchy tried something similar by hiring the inexperienced German manager David Wagner.

The club from West Yorkshire is a team that is more familiar yo-yo-ing between England’s 2nd and 3rd tiers than succeeding in the Premier League.

But, after building on the shock promotion last season, the Terriers are now excelling in the top-flight.

This surprising success has given Championship board members across the country an idea to chew on - one of risk and reward.

And Farke was likely brought in by Norwich this summer with an eye on replicating the success Huddersfield had with their left field appointment.

Like Wagner, Farke is of the new school of German management which favours high pressing, quick, counter-attacking football.

He caught the eye of the Norwich hierarchy through two years of success in Dortmund.

Working with the second team, Farke was Wagner’s replacement. His most recent season, which included only three league defeats, set up his move to East Anglia where he became the first head coach Norwich had hired from outside the British Isles.

Changing fortunes

Although the Canaries had managed a few wins amongst the draws and losses, the nature of the initial defeats drew him to attention.

The loss against Millwall, a 3-1 loss to Sunderland and a 4-2 humbling away to Villa partnered alongside a string of winnable draws lefts Norwich languishing in the bottom half of the table.

This was not the start the fans or board envisaged.

But it takes time for a team to adjust tactically to a new system.

And to put it into context, Wagner’s unlikely league success was on the back of a half a season free hit during the latter throws of the 2015/2016 season.

To argue further, the Canaries do have a talented squad of players including Josh Murphy, Wes Hoolahan, Nelson Oliviera and the loaned Southampton player Harrison Reed. The team, if given time to adapt, can excel under Farke.

And recently, the first flourishings of an understanding of his methods can be seen in their results.

Since losing to Millwall on the final matchday of August, Norwich has embarked on an 8-match unbeaten league run. Catapulting themselves from bottom half strugglers to playoff contenders.

The season is still early, so facts and figures are best not wholly relied upon, but Daniel Farke is already accumulating a competent win percentage of 52.9%. So far that is the best win percentage in Norwich’s history.

Other stats suggest more of a modest improvement. A slight increase in possession retention, a few more chances are being created, fewer goals are being conceded and more duels are being won.

They have become consistent point winners, they are hard to beat, and the atmosphere around Carrow Road has transformed. There is now a faint optimism in the air.

Cast your mind back to this time last season and Norwich was flying in the league. Only having lost two games, a 4-3 defeat away at Newcastle and a sloppy 0-1 at home to Preston North End.

But, this initial run of games, which saw Norwich top the table, proved to be the season's highest moment.

The Preston game was the trigger for their worst run of the season - a series of 8 defeats in 10 games that dropped them 24 points and their chances of promotion.

So, it is best not to get carried away.

But there is something more measured and determined in the narrow wins and draws Norwich are starting to collect.

The Championship is a marathon of a league season. And like a running a marathon, leading from the front for the whole race is difficult and a waste of energy, you face the risk of burning out.

The constant progression this season under Farke is reminiscent of a runner achieving negative split after negative split. Potentially, the peak is still to come.

Farke’s reaction to the recent derby win against arch-rivals Ipswich town sums up his enforced metamorphosis.

After James Maddison’s finish earned Norwich the hard-fought 0-1 win, Farke credited his teams “brilliant attitude,” and ability to “stand together.”

Norwich will only continue as promotion contenders if they keep working together to achieve these consistent results.

The team is now playing well, winning games and moving forward. They can’t let it slip.

Promotion contenders?

Their latest result was an unlucky 2-1 defeat away at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup, where they forced Arsenal to steal the victory with an extra-time winner from substitute Eddie Nketiah.

There won’t be too many glum faces after this result. They pushed Arsenal to the very end, spending most the match in the lead looking to press home their advantage.

In fact, Norwich fans can look back at this recent result and feel hard done by. A place in the Carabao Cup quarter-final would not have flattered them.

But now without this added distraction, the Canaries can look forward to continuing their impressive league form against Rowett's Derby, who lie just three points behind them.

A win here will cement the Canaries as promotion favourites and put to rest any lying suspicion over Farke’s position as manager.

For a club of Norwich’s recent history and standing, promotion must be the number one objective for the club going forward.

Taking such a risk on an unproven manager, to some, may seem crazy. But if Farke succeeds this season, the gamble would have paid off and those in charge of Norwich should be given the credit they deserve.