Farke wants Pukki to fire City back to the Premier League

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki's barren spell continued at Manchester City. Picture: Peter Powell/NMC Pool/PA Wire

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki's barren spell continued at Manchester City. Picture: Peter Powell/NMC Pool/PA Wire

PA Wire

Daniel Farke expects to have Teemu Pukki spearheading Norwich City’s Championship promotion push, after the striker was linked with a summer move to Turkey.

Pukki was touted with Besiktas before Sunday’s 5-0 Premier League final day defeat at Manchester City.

Reports in the Turkish media even claimed his representative had held exploratory talks with the Istanbul club.

The Finnish international spurned a golden chance at Manchester City to score his first Norwich goal since a penalty at Tottenham on January 22, in a first half duel against Ederson.

Pukki’s barren spell over the second part of the campaign echoed the relegated Canaries’ own struggles – but Farke insists he can be the main man back in the Championship.

“He is a key player for us,” he said. “He started 32 Premier League games. That says a lot about my trust and belief in him. He finished as the top scorer again. The second part of the season was difficult for him because we struggled as a team.

“He missed a few chances and the same in this game. The lockdown period was a bit difficult and not many players in world football have played so much in the past 24 months.

“He is so important for us and his national team and you could feel in this second part of the season he was a bit tired.

“We want him to recover, have a fresh start and I am pretty confident he will be an unbelievably important player for us next season.

“I always back him and it will be easier for him to score goals perhaps in that level than it has in the Premier League.”

Farke is urging Pukki to prove his class in the second tier after plundering 29 goals in City’s 2019 Championship title-winning season.

“I am not worried about Teemu. The best strikers in the world can miss chances,” said the City head coach. “Teemu had to work a lot in this game. Of course he is not full of confidence.

“If he is then he asks the keeper, ‘Which corner should I chose?’ in that chance and then he scores. When you haven’t scored for weeks this is what happens.

“But not just for Teemu, for all of us it is important to draw a line under this season, to recharge, clear the head, and have a fresh start.

“I am pretty sure we will see Teemu deliver again for us in many, many situations.”

Farke revealed City’s squad will have a Colney debrief on Monday before drawing a line under a season that saw the Canaries finish 14 points from safety.

“On Monday we have another meeting at the training ground. More like a last chance to speak about this game and the season in general,” he said. “We don’t have to do this too long but also individual training plans for the players. But after this meeting we move on.

“From Tuesday the lads will have some time off. They need some time.

“A short pre-season and we hope a new group, although with the core group still with us, but we will have some fresh faces and fresh energy and be ready for the next challenge.”

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