Leitner wants Pukki plaudits shared

Norwich City
Moritz Leitner and Jordan Henderson.

Norwich midfielder Moritz Leitner says hat-trick hero Teemu Pukki is “fantastic” but stressed the whole team deserve praise for their 3-1 win over Newcastle.

The Canaries lost their opening Premier League fixture 4-1 at Liverpool but bounced back with a 3-1 win over Newcastle at the weekend.

Finland striker Pukki grabbed all three goals for Norwich in that success at Carrow Road.

Leitner was quick to heap the praise on the frontman, but he says every member of the Norwich team played a part in their victory.

“Well done, Teemu, of course he is fantastic, he scored three times,” he told the Pink ‘Un. “I think it is not only him, the whole team and how we worked. And even Teemu, it was not only his goals, it was how he worked and how he worked back – he is our first defender.

“I think he did an amazing job but I think all the lads did an amazing job.”

Pukki was somewhat of a journeyman striker before an impressive four-year stint at Brondby in Denmark, where he managed 55 goals in 130 league games.

The forward had failed to make a real mark at Sevilla, Celtic and Schalke earlier in his career but has now fully established himself as the key attacking threat in the Norwich side.

Pukki joined Norwich in the summer of 2018 and managed 29 Championship goals last season – nearly a third of the club’s total – as the Norfolk outfit won the title and promotion.

The 29-year-old has four goals already this season and is the only Norwich player to have scored in the Premier League after two games.

Leitner may be correct in stating that the whole team deserve praise for the display against Newcastle, but other members of the squad will have to make a contribution in terms of goals if they are to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Summer signing Josip Drmic could be the man to ease the burden on Pukki but the Swiss international is currently sidelined with a thigh injury and will miss the visit of Chelsea this weekend.

Drmic made the move from Borussia Monchengladbach as a free agent but managed just eight minutes against Liverpool and sat out Newcastle’s visit.

The 27-year-old does carry a threat going forward but isn’t particularly a prolific goalscorer and hasn’t managed over 10 league goals in a season since hitting 17 for Nurnberg in the 2013/14 campaign.