Pukki doing his homework on new City boss Smith

Teemu Pukki has heard good things about new Norwich City boss Dean Smith

Teemu Pukki has heard good things about new Norwich City boss Dean Smith - Credit: Daniel Hambury/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki is getting the inside track on Dean Smith from Finnish team mate Marcus Forss. 

Pukki, who is in line for his 100th cap on Tuesday against France, has been keeping a close eye on events at Carrow Road while away on international duty alongside the Brentford attacker. 

The Canaries’ frontman scored the final City goal of the Daniel Farke era, in a recent 2-1 Premier League win at the Bees, with Forss a second half substitute. 

Pukki’s compatriot joined Brentford when Smith was still in charge, before making his first team breakthrough under Smith's old Bees’ coach, Thomas Frank.  

City’s top scorer will link up with Norwich’s new head coach when he returns to Colney later this week. 

“Marcus Forss has worked with him in Brentford and he has only good things to say about him,” said Pukki, who recently surpassed Litmanen as the Finn's leading goalscorer. “I haven't had time to talk to him (Smith) or other Norwich players.

"I asked Marcus for his opinion on Smith. Reportedly a really good manager. Marcus praised him very much."

Pukki is poised to join some illustrious company on Tuesday evening, alongside fellow international centurions Sami Hyypia and Jari Litmanen. 

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"To make one hundred is an honour that I am very proud of. The importance is very big," he said. "There are not many who have reached this point. For me, Jari and Sami are the biggest we have had but I would also rate (keeper) Lukas Hradecky quite high.” 

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Finland need a Group D win over the holders in Helsinki to guarantee a play-off spot, or rely on a slip up from third-placed Ukraine.  

Pukki is hoping the omens are good for a huge test against the French, two years to the day since his country clinched an historic place at the delayed Euros held in the summer. 

“It still gives me cold shivers when I think about it,” he said, speaking to Finnish media. “Maybe we can use that for Tuesday’s game. We can certainly get some extra fighting spirit from those memories. 

"The Liechtenstein match and the events after the victory are among my strongest moments as a football player.  

“If I had known before these qualifiers that in the last game, second sport was in our own hands, then I would have accepted it. 

“We need to be bolder with the ball and better on the counter-attack than the last time we played (a 2-0 defeat in France) - which is certainly one weapon we can use to hurt them. The challenge is tough but we believe in our cause and our chances. 

"We must perform at an absolute top level and then we must have the courage and calmness out on the field.”