Iwan Roberts: Pukki can kick on for City after getting the big slice of luck he needed
PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 September 2020
Some Norwich fans will feel disappointed and frustrated after the opening couple of games, but I’m more than satisfied with a return of four points from two games.
If people think that this season all the lads need to do is turn up to games and it’s job done, they’re way off the mark. Sadly that’s not how it works; every team in the league will see Norwich as a big scalp.
The lads will have to earn every single point they win this season, and that’s exactly what they did last Saturday at Carrow Road against Preston. City showed the character and spirit that was missing for most of last season to not just come from behind once, but twice, taking a point from a game that was slipping away.
I think it’s fair to say we were all delighted to see Teemu Pukki score his first goal from open play since the 14th December at Leicester. Hopefully he can go on a roll and find the back of the net on a regular basis, and if he does Norwich aren’t going to be far away from those automatic spots.
As a forward when you’re down and confidence is low you need a bit of luck, and Teemu got his fair share when Declan Rudd failed to stop his header creeping in at his near post. The ex-Canaries keeper should probably have kept it out, especially when you think he got both hands to the ball and it wasn’t the most powerful of headers.
I was asked the question a few weeks ago whether in my first few seasons as a Norwich player I felt the pressure of being the team’s main goal threat and was it a burden? My honest answer was no.
Scoring goals was my job, that’s what I was paid to do. The only pressure I felt was the pressure I put on myself, because I was desperate to go out and score in every game I played in.
It never kept me awake at night thinking ‘if I don’t score tomorrow then that’s it we’re not going to win the game’, and not once did I start a game with those thoughts in mind. If I had I wouldn’t have been any use to anyone.
Any player will tell you that if he’s relaxed before a game then you will get the best out of him nine times out of 10. On the other hand, if a player is stressed or worried about something football related or not, you won’t get the best out of him as the last thing on his mind is winning a football match.
Sunday’s opponents Bournemouth have made a similar start to the season and sit just above Norwich in the Championship. They might have a new head coach and have lost the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Nathan Ake and their top scorer from last season Callum Wilson, but they still have some very talented players and that’s why they were up they’re amongst the favourites to win the league.
I’ve no doubt it’s going to be a tough test but in my eyes Norwich are the better team and have greater depth in their squad.
The main reason Norwich got relegated last season was they never took enough points from the teams in the bottom half of the Premier League. However they took four points from Bournemouth without conceding - and I’d be very surprised if they return empty handed on Sunday night.