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'He's not only a great player but a great character' - Farke full of praise for in-form Canaries star

City's star striker Teemu Pukki scored twice against Derby but cut a frustrated figure after a 4-3 defeat Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

City's star striker Teemu Pukki scored twice against Derby but cut a frustrated figure after a 4-3 defeat Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Teemu Pukki's team spirit has made Norwich City's in-form top scorer even more valuable to head coach Daniel Farke.

The Finland international’s brace against Derby finished his superb 2018 on 32 goals from 53 games for club and country, having started well with Brondby and continued in style with the Canaries.

His 16 goals in 24 games have made the free transfer a huge success at City but his reaction to the 4-3 loss to the Rams, despite scoring twice, delighted Farke.

“To score really consistently over 12 months is a sign of quality. All respect and big compliments for this,” City’s boss said ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Brentford. “Sometimes it is easy for a striker to score in a 6-0 with three goals or whatever, but he is there with crucial goals.

“This consistency in delivering really important goals is outstanding – but also he is really a team player and he thinks more about the team than himself.

“So for example, after the last game he scored two goals and he could be celebrated in the press as a hero, but he was afterwards in the dressing room pretty down, I had to give him some support, because he was more or less crucial for the two set-piece goals that Derby scored.

“He was disappointed because he was there with small mistakes before they scored and this brought them back into the game.

“That says a lot about his character and his attitude. His quality, we don’t have to speak about this, but as a striker to think more about the team than his personal statistics is outstanding.

“We are all unbelievably happy that we have him in the team because he’s not only a great player but a great character.”

Farke was also pleased with Ben Godfrey’s efforts as left-back cover for the injured Jamal Lewis.

“Offensively, for our possession game, he scored a goal and in general nearly a perfect performance,” he continued.

“When we conceded the third goal he had the chance to repair the loss of the ball, so his behaviour to drop back a bit earlier – not a mistake, not at all – but he had the chance to repair this mistake for us.

“If he had managed to do this I would have said his performance was world class. So it was just a really good performance and I was really pleased with how he handled it.”

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