One of two January signings to arrive in NR1 following the turn of the year, Lukas Rupp puts the motivation for his move down to Norwich City Head Coach Daniel Farke.
“The coach, or the boss – as we say in the UK – was the reason for me to come here,” Rupp said ahead of the visit of Leicester City. “He told me he’d known of me for a few years and he wanted to work with me. My situation in Germany was not that good and I wanted to go to the Premier League. The coach said I have a good chance here to play and help the team, so that was the reason I came.
“He couldn’t say ‘Lukas, you will play every game’ because we have a good squad with good players. He said, ‘maybe you’ll need a little bit of time because the German players before needed some weeks or a month’. It’s up to me. I was fit when I came and he said, ‘it’s your chance to play’ and I did it quite well, I think.
“He wants us to have the ball and he wants players who are good in possession, to keep the ball and have fast counter attacks. It suits me. At the moment, I’m playing a position that’s maybe not my best, but I am happy as a winger. Maybe the coach will let me play sometimes a little bit more centrally, but it’s up to him and I’m just happy to play.
“I’ve mostly played as a number eight, maybe a bit as a ten, not as a winger, but it’s okay. Maybe in a few weeks I can play more in the middle.”
As is customary for any new signing, an initiation song was on the cards for Rupp shortly after his arrival at Carrow Road.
“There are some players I knew before, so it was easy for me to come to the team,” he said, commenting on the settling in period. “Having a German coach is good for me. It’s a nice city, a nice club, and everybody is very kind to me, so it’s been a good start.
“I had to sing in front of the group. In Germany it’s the same. I had a German song, so nobody understood it, which was good for me!
“Ondrej [Duda] and I were together at the hotel at Park Farm and we drove to training together. He’s a good guy and I know him from the Bundesliga because we played against each other. For me, it was a little bit easier because I already knew Mario Vrancic from when we played together at Paderborn.
“It was a childhood dream and I’m very happy that I’m here now. Of course, we need some points. We don’t play badly but that’s not enough in the Premier League.
“It’s not more difficult than the Bundesliga but it’s different. Players are stronger, more powerful and faster. The game is a little bit quicker here than in Germany. I’m a box to box kind of player so it’s easy for me to play here.”
The Premier League is a ruthless division – a lesson City were reminded of in last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“The last game was not our best performance, we know that,” Rupp admitted. “In the games before, we had chances to achieve some points, but in the end all it took for Liverpool was one moment. We’ll work hard in the next days and have the chance to get points on Friday to do better than last week.
“I know Christian Fuchs from Leicester City because he played for three or four years in Germany, and of course I know about Vardy. It’s the spotlight game at Carrow Road. For us, it’s important of course and we need the points. For the fans, it will be a good game. It’s like in the Bundesliga, there isn’t an easy game.”