'It's nice to beat him' - Pukki chuffed to seal his own piece of history over Ipswich favourite
PUBLISHED: 22:26 10 February 2019 | UPDATED: 22:26 10 February 2019
Two-goal Norwich City derby hero Teemu Pukki carried a particularly broad smile on Sunday night - after getting one over a Finnish Ipswich favourite.
Pukki’s East Anglian derby brace at Carrow Road not only booked a 3-0 win over Town and a return to the top of the Championship.
It took Pukki’s goal return to 21 in all competitions, in his first campaign in English football.
That beat the previous Finnish best of 20, registered by Town favourite Shefki Kuqi back in the 2004-5 Championship season.
It underlines the impressive impact made by Pukki since joining Norwich from Brondby as a free transfer in the summer.
“I don’t set targets – but if someone had told me when I arrived I’d have 20 goals by February, I would not have believed it,” beamed the Finnish international.
“It’s been going really well from the beginning. I never set any targets at the start of the season, but then when I started scoring goals and I got close to beating Shefki’s record as a Finnish top scorer, it is nice to beat him.
“It all feels really good, of course. As a striker, that’s the main part of how you can help the team. Obviously I’m really, really happy how things are going and I hope and believe I can keep scoring goals and keep helping the team.”
Pukki’s second-half flourish added the gloss to a dogged performance, as Ipswich spoiled for a derby fight in their bid to stave off what now seems inevitable relegation.
“For me, it was pretty easy to keep cool – I’m not the guy who goes to get involved in those situations,” said Pukki.
“And I think the other guys did it as well. There were a couple of incidents where I’m not sure what happened, but there were no stupid red cards – so that was the most important thing.
“I think in games like this, the referees can give reds easier because there is that atmosphere and other things. So it’s important to play with 11 men still at the end, otherwise the game can be harder.
“They for sure made it hard for us. It was not an easy game to play in – and after that spell in the second half, you could see the game sort of died and they didn’t have the poser to push any more. All the goals were crucial.”
Sheffield United forward Billy Sharp (22) is the only man to score more Championship goals than Pukki this season.
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…