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‘I’m a totally different player’ – From Celtic stutters, Pukki labels Canaries form his best yet

Teemu Pukki gets a big hug off Moritz Leitner as the Finn helps lift Norwich City to new Championship heights this season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Teemu Pukki gets a big hug off Moritz Leitner as the Finn helps lift Norwich City to new Championship heights this season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Teemu Pukki acknowledged he is in the form of his life – but that Norwich City are reaping the benefits of years’ worth of work.

Few are likely to provide better value this season than the Canaries’ summer snatch of the 28-year-old Finnish international striker as a free agent, with Pukki notching his seventh and eighth goals of the domestic season at Hillsborough on Saturday – on top of three goals in three games for Finland since the summer.

A tricky 2013-14 season at Celtic was the most eye-catching to Canaries fans on Pukki’s arrival in Norfolk, but it was his following four years at Danish giants Brondby that the man himself credits with the rebuilding of his reputation – and the platform for his blossoming time at Norwich.

“I think two years ago I scored a lot of goals as well and last year was good too, so I think this confidence I have now is just from those times at Brondby as well – but for sure, this is one of the best runs in my career,” admitted Pukki.

“I’m really enjoying it here, playing for this club and also living with my family in Norwich. We as a family like it and I’m enjoying playing, so that’s all we came here for.

Teemu Pukki looks to the heavens after opening the scoring for Norwich City at Hillsborough. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesTeemu Pukki looks to the heavens after opening the scoring for Norwich City at Hillsborough. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“I think I’m a totally different player to what I was at the time when I was at Celtic. I grew up a lot in my time in Denmark and of course, the level is a bit higher than I’ve been used to lately.

“So it’s going well and I think the guys in the team are marking it easier for me as well to be there. I’m just trying to help the team.”

The previous international break left Pukki with a hamstring strain that sidelined the Finn for the Championship wins over Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Brentford – before his return to both action and goalscoring, at Sheffield Wednesday.

And it’s fair to say sitting games out while injured was not a familiar feeling.

“It was the first time I’ve missed any games through injury in many, many years,” added Pukki.

“I think last year I missed one and before that it was a long time before I missed a game. So it was kind of frustrating to miss those games, but also we were playing so well it was not so nerve-wracking and I could enjoy watching them too.”

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

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