Smith delivers upbeat Pukki bulletin after Sargent inspires City win
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Josh Sargent delivered in Teemu Pukki’s injury absence to spark a first Championship win of the season against Huddersfield – with Pukki set to be available for Millwall’s visit on Friday.
Pukki was ruled out with what Dean Smith confirmed was a ‘bruised foot’ but Sargent opened the scoring and Danel Sinani added a quickfire second.
Huddersfield’s Pat Jones replied late on for the 10-man Terriers, who had Tom Lees red carded for hauling back Sargent early in the second half.
Smith confirmed afterwards Pukki should be available to come back into contention for the Lions’ visit – but Sargent made his case.
“Teemu had an x-ray which is clear so we are thankful for that,” said the City chief. ”But the foot was too bruised and puffy to get a boot on. I expect him to be fit for Friday.
“I thought Josh’s all-round game was really good. He makes intelligent runs and I thought we found him really well, particularly in the box down that right hand side. I don’t think we attacked too much down the left in the first half.
“Maybe Kenny (McLean) was finding his way into the game. But he was a focal point for us and scored a really good goal. He was also good starting our presses.
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"He came to the club as a centre forward but he has played most of the time on the side. He understands why because of Teemu, and the player he is, and what he has done.
“He was our top scorer last season and I have no doubt he will bang a load in this season. Josh has had to bide his time but an opportunity came up and he grabbed it.
“I was really happy with the performance. We created tons of chances against what I think is a really good team. We controlled the game, we showed some good movement and scored early.
"I would probably want Sarge to go through and make it 3-0 rather than they had a man sent off. It changed the game then because we ended up hardly without pressure and playing keep ball rather than looking to kill the game.
“That is all I would say to the lads. Their goal comes out of nothing. We have a three versus two and the lad runs 60 yards. He should never get into our penalty box, let alone score a goal, but even after that we could have made it three or four.
“The start was no different to the last couple of games. The only difference is we turned our superiority into goals. I said at half-time to the players I felt we stepped off it maybe for 10 minutes just before the break and went sideways too much.
“I wanted us to kill the game and the intent was there straight after half-time.”