‘A massive win’ - Farke hails resolute City
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Daniel Farke praised ‘ice cold’ Teemu Pukki and his Norwich City battlers after a ‘massive’ Championship win at Middlesbrough.
Farke opted to start with Jordan Hugill in place of the Finnish striker after a gruelling international period for his star forward, but Pukki replaced Hugill at the interval and later kept his nerve to slot a match-winning penalty.
That came after Boro’s Marcus Tavernier slipped when taking an earlier spot kick to see his effort chalked off in a tight contest between two of the form sides in the division.
“It feels like a massive win for us. Such an unbelievably tough place to come,” said Farke. “They were eight unbeaten so that shows you the size of the task. Just conceding one goal.
“Neil Warnock teams are so hard to break down. I said in the build up we had so many important players away on international duty. It was not possible for us to play Teemu Pukki from the start.
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“The circumstances are difficult because we have injuries and a small group who were here in Norwich over the break.
“We are playing football in bizarre times. We have had late goals when the stadium would have exploded but we are denied that. These are bizarre times and the penalty situation for them was strange as well.
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“I have watched both penalties back and they were both situations were the offensive player was going away from the goal. They were penalties because it was clumsy behaviour. Thankfully they were not able to use their situation and Teemu was ice cold in his finish.”
Farke confirmed Hugill will be asssessed over coming days after his half-time exit with a shoulder issue. Lukas Rupp’s hamstring problem that kept him out against Swansea prior to the international break is another cause for concern ahead of the upcoming trip to Stoke.
Todd Cantwell missed out at Middlesbrough with a hip issue suffered in the final training session on Friday afternoon. The midfielder stayed behind in Norfolk for further assessment.