‘He was really sad in the locker room’ – City hero on Norwich goals and Buendia red
The goal drought is over – and it says everything that four games even constituted that for Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki.
The Finland hero and Championship leading scorer made it 26 in the league this season with a goal in either half, to help put managerless Queens Park Rangers to the sword.
Emi Buendia made the first half before his red card for a reckless challenge in the second, after which Pukki’s second strike followed to put the gloss on City’s emphatic win – and leave the Premier League tantalisingly close.
Not bad for what may well go down as the best free transfer City have ever made.
“When I came I didn’t make any targets of how many goals I would score but I didn’t believe I would score this many,” said Pukki.
“So it’s been a great, great season and it’s enjoyable to play in this team because you know you will get the chances – and I just need to score those.
“There were some games where I couldn’t score so obviously I was really happy I got some goals here, and it was nice of Emi to give me the first goal because he could have had a shot himself.
“But I think he wanted me to score, so that was nice. It was an easy goal and nice to get that chance, for sure.”
Pukki admitted he felt for Buendia, who now faces a three-game ban for his lunge on Josh Scowen.
“A lot of sympathy,” he said. “He was really sad in the locker room. It was hard. He went pretty fast into that situation but he also didn’t touch the guy, so it was a harsh.
“He is really playing with the Spanish mentality. He is that kind of guy, so he is doing everything to win the game.”
Pukki may have scored twice but one 60-yard dash to cover at right-back and close down a QPR break from a corner, arguably earned the Finland striker his biggest cheer of the afternoon.
“I think it was just after that the red card and there was no right winger in that situation, so I just thought I had to do the defensive work as well,” smiled Pukki.
“Every single player wants us to win and if there will be some other guy there, he would do the same. There was a chance to defend, so I just had to take it.
“The work rate of the whole team, it also makes the offensive work easier when we win so many balls so high up the pitch. So that’s a massive thing for this team.”
As Norwich ended the day extending their lead over second and third place in the Championship to seven and eight points respectively, Pukki added: “It was a really good team performance from the first moment and the three points are all that matter.
“We started really well and I think we showed from the first minute that we are the team at the top now, and we just kept going. It was a great start and some good points.”
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…