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‘We need to be better than that’ – Pukki wishes Norwich City a stingy new year

Teemu Pukki earned a brace for Norwich City against Derby - but it was at the other end once again that caused the Canaries issues. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Teemu Pukki earned a brace for Norwich City against Derby - but it was at the other end once again that caused the Canaries issues. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City know the score with their recent defensive deficiencies and Teemu Pukki is sure they will get sorted – as a team.

Once the dust settled on another incredible 90 minutes at Carrow Road, the Canaries were left with knowing they have now conceded seven goals on home soil in two Christmas home games.

While City managed to miraculously salvage a point from Nottingham Forest’s Boxing Day visit, Derby proved a bridge too far on Saturday – despite City twice leading, as well as holding a two-goal lead in the first half.

But while there is plenty of room for improvement, Pukki would take City’s current position as they said goodbye to 2018 in a heartbeat – sat clear in second in the Championship table with some tasty games on the horizon.

“In the last game we conceded three goals at home and now it’s four, so we need to be better than that,” said Pukki, as City’s unbeaten run ended after 12 successes.

It was an angsty end to the game for Norwich City, as three points slipped through their fingers against Derby at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesIt was an angsty end to the game for Norwich City, as three points slipped through their fingers against Derby at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“That’s the whole team; we need to defend better and not let the other team score. That’s something we now need to focus on and do better in the next games.

“We just need to feel a bit sad and angry about this result, and then we need to move our thoughts to Brentford as it’s only two days away.

“Of course everyone is really disappointed for how this game finished. It’s been us scoring at the end, but this time it was not our turn.

“Playing again in two days is a good thing, we can start thinking about the new game, forget this one and we have some experienced guys here – they will cheer up the lads.

“We’ve been playing so well, we just need to try to forget this one and be ready for Tuesday.”

So City will head to Griffin Park for their first outing of 2019 on the back of a defeat, before a run of Championship games against West Brom, Birmingham, Sheffield United, Leeds and Ipswich.

Pukki said: “Of course it’s been good lately with some great results and playing good football, so I think we need to take that into the next games as well – and just believe in what we’re doing. That will bring us some more good results.

“For sure, there are still many games to go. So we need to focus a lot and we are still in a good situation now as well.

“We’ve still got to play almost every team in the division, so there will be some really nice and really big, really tough games to play – and I’m really looking forward to them.”

Aside from a season in the Scottish Premiership, this is Pukki’s first taste of a busy festive schedule – and Pukki maintained he likes it this way over his previous Christmas experiences.

“Celtic was like this but then I didn’t play all the time, so this has kind of been my first time to play all the way through Christmas,” added Pukki.

“Normally I’ve been on the couch at home with the family, eating a lot. Just relaxing. So of course this is a lot different to what I’m used to, but I like it. It’s many games and that’s what we do all this for.

“It’s nicer to play games than to train, so that’s a good thing. My legs are fine; I feel a bit tired but that’s part of football.”

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

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