Proud Pukki wants Canaries to finish promotion season 'in style'
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Teemu Pukki was bursting with pride after Norwich City's immediate return to the Premier League but remains desperate to finish this season 'in style' by winning the Championship trophy.
The Canaries' promotion was confirmed earlier in the day by results elsewhere and even though a 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth at Carrow Road paused the party for a while, it didn't take long for Champagne corks to fly after that frustration had calmed.
“So proud," said City's 25-goal top scorer. "It’s never easy. We have seen with other teams who have come down that it is not often that you go straight back up.
“What we have done this year is a great job. This team is something else, I can tell you that.”
Daniel Farke's impressively consistent squad had already clocked up 90 points so with four games to play and an eight-point cushion to second-placed Watford, the title very much remains in their control.
The Hornets come to Carrow Road on Tuesday, when Norwich know that victory will allow them to party even harder - as champions, for the second time in three seasons.
“The fact that five games before the end of the season we were promoted, that tells the story of this year, that we are the best team of this league," the Finland star added.
- 1 Why a Premier League gamble makes no sense for Farke
- 2 Onel Hernandez reveals reason he got a Norwich City tattoo
- 3 Norwich City transfer rumours: Cardiff man once again linked
- 4 Former City coach departs Ipswich Town
- 5 PRESSER LIVE: Barnsley v City - No fresh injuries. Skipp and Pukki will be part of celebrations
- 6 Why Norwich City won't be a soft touch in the Premier League
- 7 Rosenborg set for talks with Tettey
- 8 'I have to say I had more than one tear in my eye' - choked Farke on City duo's exit
- 9 'Perfection' - Dowell on getting back to the big time with Canaries
- 10 ‘It’s me, it’s Tettey’ - Canaries legend's best quotes
“We just need to finish it in style, there are still four games to go.”
Swansea and Brentford being held to home draws by Wycombe and Millwall respectively confirmed promotion at just after 2.30pm.
The City players were gathered at their usual team hotel, to try and keep preparations as normal as possible, but they made sure to savour confirmation as the big moment arrived.
“There were some of us, I think it was like five or 10 minutes before the end of the earlier games, we got a message that we could come and watch the TV," Pukki explained.
“It was quite nerve-wracking moments to be watching and those teams did us a favour with their results, Swansea and Brentford, and Watford as well (losing 1-0 at Luton) – it was a nice feeling.
“We were hugging each and that was it really because we wanted to win the game, but it was tough, especially after the red card. But we will celebrate now.”
The 31-year-old had set up Emi Buendia with a lovely flick in just the fifth minute on Saturday evening, with the leaders dominating the in-form Cherries and looking in the mood to impress again.
However, the game turned when left-back Dimitris Giannoulis was harshly sent off in the 18th minute for treading on Ben Pearson as the Bournemouth midfielder lunged into a challenge, with minimal contact and clearly no intention.
“It looked really good in the first minutes," Pukki said of the game. "You can’t say what would have happened without the red card but it felt like we were in a good mood and playing really well.
“But the red changed the game and we had to run a bit more than we would have wished.”