Srbeny must keep the heat on Pukki
Dennis Srbeny’s first Premier League goal was a reward for perseverance at Norwich City.
The German's Carrow Road career has largely been a watching brief, behind the prolific Teemu Pukki, but Srbeny moved centre stage with a match-clinching strike at Goodison Park.
The 25-year-old's goal was his first in over a year for the Canaries and head coach Daniel Farke is a firm believer in the frontman.
"I tell you what, it is well deserved because he was working so hard on the training pitch and in the gym in the last few weeks," said Farke. "He is improving his endurance and his strength.
"He knows he has to compete with Teemu and Josip Drmic but to go further on in the longer term you will always get your rewards for what you are willing to invest, and he deserved to be in the spotlight."
Srbeny and Adam Idah are vying for a more prominent role behind top scorer Pukki, with Drmic now (hamstring) ruled out until January, and the teenager pressed his claims during the recent international break with another goalscoring burst for the Republic of Ireland's Under-21s.
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"He's not far away and that's the reason we didn't send him out on loan," said Farke. "We wanted to keep him close to the group because we also believe that in the short term there is a chance for him to be there with a Premier League appearance, otherwise we would have some other options for him. I totally believe in bringing young players on the pitch but it's never a gift. It's more like we bring them close to the door but it's up to them to make this last step.
"I will only bring a player on the pitch when I get the feeling he is prepared to play on this level.
"I am pleased with Adam and pleased with his development. Training with us has made him adapt to the speed and intensity and the quality of Premier League football and my feeling is he is growing from week to week."
Idah has so far been restricted to a senior debut in the League Cup.
"He might not be quite there right now to start a game at Premier League level," said Farke. "In the cup you could already realise there was a little distance for him to go, but he is improving a lot and I think it is a big confidence boost to deliver at Under-21 level for his national team.
"But there is also a big difference between the Premier League and under-21 football."