Pukki's overtime pays off for Canaries
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Practice made perfect for Teemu Pukki after Norwich City's recent struggles in front of goal.
The Canaries’ dry spell had turned up the heat on the sharpshooter, but Pukki responded with his second double of the season to sink Stoke 4-1. A result which propelled Norwich back to the top of the Championship, combined with Brentford's surprise 2-0 home defeat to Barnsley on Sunday.
Head coach Daniel Farke revealed after the Potters' victory the Finnish international had been piling in the overtime at Colney in a bid to get back on the goal trail.
“I have never seen Teemu do so much extra work on his shooting and finishing at training. I was a bit worried if he had over-did it but he was spot on,” said Farke. “He was so sharp. That past week was important for him where he could train properly. He looked unbelievably sharp in his movement. We brought our attacking players into very good positions.
"We had the ruthlessness and clinical edge in the final third. You saw that in the way Todd (Cantwell) wanted to be brutal when he got himself in a shooting position. The same with Emi (Buendia).
“In any 46-game season you will not just have one spell, maybe three or four of these testing periods. In our record title winning season I remember the start was not easy, we had a little dip after Christmas, not so much in performances but results, and then three draws in a row.
"To show this response is quite important. When some questions are asked you have to respond as a team.”
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Despite the emphatic margin of Norwich's victory it was not all plain sailing, with recent signing Dimitris Giannoulis gifting Stoke a second half goal with a wayward pass before making amends with the assist for Buendia’s finish.
“Horizontal passes are not allowed in my football. We played a 30 yard horizontal pass to the striker who is in one against one. It is hard to explain,” said Farke. “I will have to speak to him about this but he proved also he is a top class player.
!Fantastic performance, defensively solid and then out of nothing he makes a horrendous mistake but five minutes later he has the quality and calmness to produce a fantastic assist for Emi.
"It says a lot about him as a character but also we have this desire to bounce back as a team.
“Our attacking play was so good I can live with the mistakes. As a head coach you always want one or two things you can moan about.
"Quicker passes, quicker switches of play allowed the offensive players to have a bit more time to deliver end product.
“After three without a win you need to win the confidence back and score some goals. It is a question of mentality. We have shown after a loss we can respond with a win in what is always the most difficult game.”