'I'll take it, that's all I need to say' - City midfielder offers to end penalty curse
Moritz Leitner is ready and waiting to take Norwich City's next penalty - he is German, after all.
The former Borussia Dortmund and Lazio midfielder was one of the many spectators to watch Teemu Pukki’s second-half penalty saved by Millwall goalkeeper Ben Amos – City’s fourth spot-kick failure of the season and third in three matches, joining Jordan Rhodes and Mario Vrancic.
The pertinent point is Norwich still won those three games and now lead the Championship by two points, after a stunning win over the Lions at Carrow Road on Saturday.
But the penalty issue – much like the awakening to City as serious promotion contenders – isn’t likely to go away either.
“I’ll take it, that’s all I need to say – I think the next one I will take,” smiled Leitner. “In the national (youth) team I took penalties, and I also won the derby against Schalke when we won the Super Cup final (in a shoot out), I scored my one so…
“Teemu said he felt good and he had already scored, so I said OK. I fancied it but we don’t have to talk about the penalties here and now. Let’s just talk about the emotions, the feelings and the lads.”
That will suit everyone of a Canaries persuasion just fine, given their Championship campaign is hitting new heights with each passing week.
“The last few weeks, how we’ve played and how the lads have worked is just amazing,” said Leitner. “We’re not allowed to say it’s normal. We work each and every day really hard and that’s why it’s so special now that we are showing and getting the success from our work. It’s really amazing. I’m just happy and proud and really respectful of this whole club.
“We know we are in a good position now, but before this game it was 30 games to go and now it is 29. So you can get 87 more points.
“We don’t have to talk about anything in future; just enjoy this moment and I promise you we will keep working and try to do our best. Then we will see how the future is going.
“But OK, this was a special moment and everybody was just amazing and celebrating. They were great noises. I felt something special.”
The 25-year-old’s tally of 19 appearances so far this season is one short of the 20 he played in his previous two campaigns combined – the second half of last term being on loan at City.
It underlines the consistency and blossoming influence Leitner is delivering in a yellow shirt.
“I can’t really say how happy I am being in this group because I’m more than happy; is there an English word for being more than just happy?!” he added.
“I don’t want to talk so much about me. I want to talk about the lads because I’m just happy to be a small part of this club. I’m happy to stay here with my misses and my dog. We really enjoy it.
“Of course I’m really happy after this game, I have to be. But I always work on my own situation and I will keep going on like this.
“I think if everybody works on their own (abilities) they will get their success – if it takes a short time or a longer time. But I’ve never stopped believing in myself and I never will.”
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