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‘I’m so happy Teemu was honest’ – Vrancic explains how Pukki gave up his latest match-winning shot

Mario Vrancic wheels away to celebrate scoring Norwich City's late winning penalty over Wigan Athletic at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Mario Vrancic wheels away to celebrate scoring Norwich City's late winning penalty over Wigan Athletic at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City’s Wigan match-winner Mario Vrancic admitted he was glad for Teemu Pukki’s honesty in giving up his penalty-taking duties.

Substitute Vrancic’s cool spot kick just four minutes from full time settled matters against the Latics at Carrow Road.

However, it was in-form top scorer Pukki who was fouled to earn the penalty – and had been expected to take it.

“I asked Teemu if he was certain he wanted to take it,” explained Vrancic. “He had already 86 minutes on the pitch and was maybe tired, where as I was fresh with only 20 minutes on the pitch. He seemed a bit nervous and said he felt it was better if I took it.

“I’m so happy Teemu in that moment was honest. He’s a striker and they are always trying to score as many goals as possible – and yet he wasn’t selfish.

Alex Tettey, who was too nearvous to watch Mario Vrancic's penalty, congratulates Norwich City's match winner at full-time against Wigan Athletic. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesAlex Tettey, who was too nearvous to watch Mario Vrancic's penalty, congratulates Norwich City's match winner at full-time against Wigan Athletic. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“It shows a kind of togetherness if our striker – at the moment our most dangerous striker – is not being selfish in such a moment.”

Pukki’s decision was repaid up Vrancic’s assured dispatch, earning City their fifth successive win and a place in the top six for the first time this season.

“I was certain when I got the ball that I wanted to go for the middle,” said Vrancic. “The goalkeeper hit the bar a hundred times to try to confuse me but I was certain I was going to score the goal.

“I think there are some stats that say 98pc of goalkeepers choose a side to go to, especially under pressure. I’ve practiced a lot in recent weeks and luckily he chose a side.

Mario Vrancic sends Wigan goalkeeper Christian Walton the wrong way, as he earned Norwich City a fifth successive win in all competitions from the penalty sport. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesMario Vrancic sends Wigan goalkeeper Christian Walton the wrong way, as he earned Norwich City a fifth successive win in all competitions from the penalty sport. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“And of course it was a great feeling to score the crucial goal. It’s always a great feeling.”

For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…

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