Teemu Pukki: I’ve missed playing in front of the fans

Following the announcement that Norwich City will be welcoming 1,000 fans to Carrow Road for Saturday’s game against Preston North End, Teemu Pukki has delivered a message to Canaries supporters. sat down with the forward at Lotus Training Centre on Thursday to discuss the season so far, the relationships he’s building with his strike partners, and his thoughts on Preston. Teemu, last weekend our season got off to a winning start. Now you’ve had a bit of time to reflect and analyse, what’s your view of it?

TP: It was a tough game. We knew the first game back in the Championship would be tough, we just had to fight through it and we got the three points we really wanted. It was a long time since we last won, so it was really important to get those points. How much of a relief was it to end the losing run with an away win and clean sheet?

TP: Yeah, a big one. We weren’t thinking about those losses but people were talking about it so it’s important to get the win out of the way. Now, we can focus on playing a bit better and getting some more points.

pukki idah.jpg You got the assist and Adam Idah said after the game that not many strikers would have passed to him in that situation. What do you make of those comments and does he owe you one back?

TP: Yeah! I like Adam a lot and he’s a good player. I enjoy playing with him and hope he gets many goals this year. I saw he was in a better position than I was, so for me the points are more important than me scoring.

Of course, I want to score as well, but if I see another guy in a better position I’ll give him the chance to score because the most important thing is to get the three points. Does it add another dimension to how we play, having a slightly different approach when you have Adam alongside you?

TP: Yeah, I think all of our strikers - Jordan as well as Adam - we’re all a bit different and everyone brings something else to the team, so it’s a good combination of strikers we have here. 

For me, to have other strikers, it can be much easier to play when you have someone to be close around. It allows the other guy to stay in the position to score more often.

striker union Cropped.jpg You mentioned Jordan, who we haven’t seen in the league yet, but what’s it been like working with him so far in training?

TP: I’m really enjoying it. He’s been good in training and is a good guy as well. We sit next to each other in the locker room. I like him and I think we’ll all get a lot of minutes this year, so we need everyone to be ready whenever we get the chance to play. It sounds like there’s a real togetherness among the strikers. Many teams play the lone striker nowadays so competition is rife, but the relationship looks good between you three.

TP: Yeah, there is of course competition because everyone wants to play and everyone wants to score goals, but I think all of us are team players so whenever the team is winning we are happy, even if the other guy scores. It doesn’t matter - we are a really good three.

Pukki_8 Cropped (1).jpg Are you impressed with how the new signings have been settling in in general?

TP: Yeah, they’ve all done well. It’s really easy to come into this squad because it’s a nice group of guys. For me as well, when I came, I felt from the first day that it’s easy to be here, so I think it’s a good group we have and whoever is coming it’s pretty fast settling in. Preston up next, what are you expecting from this weekend’s game?

TP: It’s going to be tough, for sure. I remember last time we were in the Championship we lost to them once and won the other game near the end, so it’s going to be tough like pretty much all the games in the Championship.

We just need to be ready to play our game and take on the opponents. What do you remember of the last time we played them at home, when yourself and Alex Tettey both scored in the final ten minutes?

TP: Tetts scored a beautiful volley, I remember! I actually scored in both games, so I have good memories against Preston personally, but in the end those don’t matter at all anymore so it’s a new game on Saturday and we need to be ready to do our best. We’re one of the few clubs this weekend that’s going to have 1,000 fans at the stadium, so are you and the squad looking forward to playing in front of some supporters?

TP: Yeah, for sure. When we found out about the news that there would be fans, we were all pretty happy about it. I’ve been missing playing in front of the fans a lot. It’s kind of a different game without fans, so it’s much easier to get yourself into the game when there are some supporters.

I hope they give us a good cheering from the stands and we will do our best on the pitch.

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