‘They’ve brought in players who have taken the league by storm’ - Pulis a big admirer of City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis admits Norwich City’s new boys have cut a dash through the Championship.
Teemu Pukki was the match winner when the sides met at Carrow Road earlier in the season, and goes into Saturday’s return top of the Championship scoring charts.
Emi Buendia has also emerged as one of the best creative midfielders in the second tier after another astute piece of business from the Canaries.
Pulis is an admirer of Daniel Farke’s work but insists they aim to get a promotion push back on track after three league defeats going into the international break.
“They’ve brought some players in who have taken the league by storm,” he said.
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“They’re a tough team, they’ve done really well, their recruitment has been very good and I’m looking forward to the game. I hope the players are too.
“They’ve gone on a run of results and confidence has been huge for them. Every game in the Championship is competitive and tough - the league is what it is.
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“I’m a big believer in making sure everyone stays focused.
“The league will ebb and flow, and there will be times when things don’t run smoothly.
“What’s important is that we stay focused. The fact that we are in the top six and every game is a cup final - that’s the challenge, you want to keep pushing and getting the best out of what we’ve got.”
Midfielder Lewis Wing (groin) is a major injury doubt but Pulis’ Friday morning pre-match press conference ahead of Norwich’s visit was dominated by one of Boro’s loan exports.
Danish international Martin Braithwaite launched a stinging attack on Pulis’ brand of football during the international break, after a loan exit in January to Spain.
“He is the highest-earning Championship player I have ever worked with,” said Pulis.
“When I was at West Brom in the Premier League, I don’t think there was many players earning as much as what Braithwaite is earning.
“The disrespect he’s shown the area and the football club is astonishing for someone who has taken so much out of this football club and given so (little) back. For him to talk the way he’s talked it’s really disappointing.
“I’ve been in football a long time, you come across these players now and then, and you have to deal with it.”