Good news City fans! Duda is just getting started
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Ondrej Duda is the real deal, insists Daniel Farke, after the Norwich City loan signing inspired the Canaries to a crucial Premier League win over Bournemouth.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder was thrown in at the deep end, just days after his arrival from Hertha Berlin until the end of the top flight season.
Duda earned Teemu Pukki's match-winning penalty, when Steve Cook handled his goalbound shot, to cap an eye-catching debut in his first action for six weeks.
"He was class," said Farke. "Keeping in mind he just came out of a winter break in Germany and he was playing pre-season type games. Also the fact he hadn't played many minutes in the Bundesliga this season in recent weeks.
"He was quite important for our game and crucial for the goal we did score, a fantastic finish where, but for a perfect save from the defender, he had a first goal under his belt.
"His ability to link the play was crucial to our balance, he was able to speed up the game and at the right times calm it down.
"His tactical behaviour, his workload, all great, so I am pretty delighted with his first working day in the yellow shirt."
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe refused to blame Cook for his moment of madness, but did concede it cost his side in a survival shootout at Carrow Road.
"It's decided the game," said Howe, "Pure instinct from him. I can only assume he's chucked his arm at the ball in a moment. Of course, if he thought about it, he'd have let it go by him and we'd have kept 11 men on the pitch.
"I thought we recovered well from that moment but it ultimately did cost us. What can you say? It was just instinct and it happened. I'm not going to stand there and berate him.
"It's happened and I think you have to and support him and go the other way.
"Especially in this moment, for us I think that group staying together rather than getting a feeling of blame, I don't think that's going to help us in any way. We have to stick together and we have to keep fighting. We have to turn the tide very quickly or we're going to run out of games."