Teemu Pukki is only getting started at Norwich City
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Teemu Pukki has the potential to take the Championship by storm - but head coach Daniel Farke isn’t getting carried away with his new striker just yet.
Pukki scored a cracking brace in the opening 3-2 tour win against SC Paderborn.
The Finnish international appears to have settled in with the minimum of fuss, following his free transfer arrival from Danish football after earlier spells at Celtic and Schalke. But ahead of City’s second tour friendly against Bundesliga 2 outfit Union Berlin on Tuesday night, Farke is looking at the bigger picture and Pukki’s role in his strategy.
“Let’s not get carried away. It is pre-season and in some friendlies you can produce a good performance.
“Other times you can be a bit tired. But he scored in a brilliant way and showed why we were keen to sign him,” said Farke.
“It is always good for an offensive player when he is there with goals or an assist or two. That helps the self-confidence and also make it’s a bit easier to settle in. He had some really good movements.
“He is a smart player, he is cool in the finishing positions, he’s flexible in tactical terms to cover the positions as a striker, a number 10 or even wider. We are pretty pleased to have him. I don’t want to go overboard because it is pre-season but he can play as striker on his own or if we get the feeling we need a bit more presence up front, he is someone who is more robust.
“Playing him slightly deeper also perhaps allows him more space. Central defenders are more focused on Dennis (Srbeny) or Jordan Rhodes and he is able to profit from the gaps.”
Srbeny has responded to the challenge of two new striker signings with goals in consecutive friendlies. Farke believes the young frontman is now showing signs he has got to grips with the demands of higher level football.
“I am totally happy. I got the feeling he is improving from day to day,” said Farke.
“It is important for him not only to score in friendlies against sides from lower leagues but to do it against a team like Paderborn was another step.
“He worked hard for his team, he was able to keep the ball and be a target.
“That tactical understanding is so important. Plus the finish was pretty cool as well. Dennis is in a good shape at the moment and we hope he can carry this on into the season.”