'I have never felt this feeling before' - Norwich City star pinching himself at Championship rise
Marco Stiepermann is an experienced head at Norwich City - but even he admits he has never felt anything like this.
The 27-year-old German midfielder has made more than 350 competitive appearances on a football pitch – and yet in the aftermath of his first Carrow Road goal in the Championship and the leaders’ 12th win in 15 league games, Stiepermann was struggling for words.
Fortunately he managed enough to echo the sentiments of all City fans, following the dramatic 3-2 victory over Bolton thanks to another Teemu Pukki injury-time winner.
“I think this is just really special at the moment – I have never felt this feeling before and I hope it is going to be a long time like this,” said Stiepermann.
It’s no wonder either, with City now sitting at the second-tier summit nine points clear of seventh place and six ahead of Sheffield United in third.
Meanwhile, Leeds in second are the only team in the division with a better goal difference than Daniel Farke’s Canaries – in large part thanks to Pukki’s 12 league goals.
That tally is bettered by only Nottingham Forest’s Lewis Grabban (14) and Brentford’s Neal Maupay (13).
Yet despite City being the third-highest goalscorers in the division, Pukki is the only Norwich player to feature in the top 35 Championship goalscorers – showing just how much the Canaries have around the goals.
“What should I say about him? He’s just phenomenal,” said Stiepermann. “He is always there. You don’t have to see him for the 90 minutes – but if he’s there and scores goals, that’s his job.
“I knew him when he played in Germany. He was still a good player there and I know he scored a lot with Brondby last season, so he has that taste to score goals.
“I think he was young when he played for Schalke and it was hard for him because they were playing in the Champions League, and he came from a relatively small club in Finland I guess.
“Now you can see he’s an experienced player and he knows where he has to stand to score goals. It’s his job and he’s done it really well.
“He’s relaxed and calm, but such a nice guy and I think he’s really good for the squad. I’m really happy we’ve got him.”
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