Pukki's relief at opening City account
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Teemu Pukki admitted it was a relief to get off the mark for Norwich City this season, as he chases Finland’s goalscoring record in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against holders France.
Pukki’s nerveless Leicester City penalty drew the Canaries’ level in the final Premier League game before the international pause.
The Foxes hit back to win at Carrow Road but the experienced frontman is looking to carry that goal boost into a daunting Group D fixture in Lyon.
The City marksman is currently two goals behind the legendary Jari Litmanen’s 32-goal haul for his country.
“I’m proud of the goals, and that would be a great thing if the record were broken,” he said. “However, that is not the overriding sense. The most important thing is to help the team. Of course, I can help the team with the goals.
“Scoring against Leicester will definitely help me in these next games. The start of the league season was really difficult for the team and myself. The last (Leicester) game was already better and I have a positive feeling.”
Finland sit in second spot, four points behind the French with two games in hand, but the holders have failed to win any of their last five.
Les Bleus’ captain and Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris believes there is still a hangover from their shock penalty shoot-out exit to Switzerland at the Euros.
"It really hurt us," said Lloris, with his country being held to 1-1 draws against Bosnia and Ukraine in recent days. "When you're not expected to get punched, it hurts more.
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"Change is not going to happen overnight but (against Finland) we'll have to start strong and give everything.
“We're aware that we're in a difficult situation which maybe was not the case before the Ukraine game. It's obvious that we're missing some confidence and against Ukraine it could have been catastrophic.
“Finland is a game that has become more important than it should have been. We need to get our self confidence back. It will be easier to go forward with a win.”
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