Prolific Pukki still has plenty of fuel to burn for Canaries
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Teemu Pukki has plenty of gas left in the tank for Norwich City insists Daniel Farke.
The Canaries' attacking talisman has played all but 13 minutes of the club's Premier League campaign.
Add in a leading role spearheading Finland's qualification for this summer's European Championships and is it any wonder the prolific frontman has looked a shade below his best since damaging his toe at Leicester.
Only the intervention of the VAR officials denied him a 40th career goal for the Canaries against Tottenham, and Pukki will again lead the line tonight against Crystal Palace.
"Believe me, he can handle the load we are asking of him," assured Farke. "If a top class striker like Harry Kane is able to play each and every minute, and he is also crucial for his team and the manager does not leave him out for one second, then we rely even a bit more on Teemu.
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"He had this incident with his toe at Leicester and what you have to remember is that an offensive player in our side also has a lot of responsibility in terms of the defensive work we need. You have to be sharp in front of goal at this level and there might be periods when that first touch is perhaps not as clinical as it needs to be but there was nothing wrong with his touch for the fantastic goal he did score (against Spurs).
"Even for the second goal he was able to force this scene. He made that brilliant movement to collect Emi Buendia's pass."
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Mario Vrancic (mouth) and Kenny McLean (foot) are expected to be fit for duty tonight for the first game of 2020.
Farke admits it will take something special in the weeks ahead to top the last 12 months.
"Overall we had a sensational year and we can now work on trying to create another miracle," he said. "It is difficult for me to praise ourselves and stay humble but, for me, a sensational year for the whole club, for everyone involved in the club. We created a big sensation without really spending any money, selling key players and yet we achieved a record season in terms of points and scoring goals and we were praised a lot for the brand of football we played. We have had some tough days in this league but also some great days, like the win over Manchester City, the win at Goodison Park and we played Newcastle out of the park."