Canaries' boss savours his dynamic duo
Norwich City's 'likely lads' Teemu Pukki and Marco Stiepermann are a special dish for Daniel Farke.
The deadly pair took their combined tally to 27 Championship goals and 12 assists in the 4-0 romp over Bolton Wanderers which fired the Canaries back to the top.
Pukki continues to grab the headlines, following his free transfer switch from Danish football, but Stiepermann has filled the void left by James Maddison with a stunning second season in English football.
Farke revealed after the Trotters’ win just how close Stiepermann was to missing the game with a muscle injury.
“Pretty close. He didn’t feel comfortable with his leg muscles but we tried everything to get him fit,” he said. “A big compliment to our physios because they worked nearly 24 hours to get him fit.
“It was important because he is a key player for us who has developed in this role.
“He was there with the assist on the first goal and a crucial touch for the second goal. His positioning is always perfect and he is crucial to bring our game into the final third and to make key passes.
“I was pleased I could give him a bit of rest at the end.
“What more is there to say about Teemu? I work with him every day. I see his quality and maybe even more importantly his character; not just his goals but his work rate without the ball and willingness to link the play.
“The assist for Marco was world class, with his movement and the precision of his cutback. We are happy to have him. He creates so many gaps for his team mates.”
Fit-again midfielder Moritz Leitner replaced Stiepermann in the closing stages at Bolton for his first action since December.
Farke now has a selection dilemma for Bristol City’s upcoming visit, with Tom Trybull and Kenny McLean impressing against the Trotters.
“I want all my key players back,” he said.
“It was good that Moritz got his first minutes on the pitch after a really long term injury.
“I was pretty pleased with Kenny. Although he is in a good shape physically he had to wait a pretty long time to start for us in the league.
“That is not easy.
“He can improve his game, of course, but in general he was really good. He was crucial in linking the play, he played in a bit deeper role and showed his quality with the chip for the third goal.”