Owls Finland’s most talked about ankle rose to prominence when Teemu Pukki stepped in front of the media

According to Teemu Puk, only the lack of a sense of play has been felt a bit in the European Championship tournament, but in the Russia match the feeling was better.

Owls supporters can sigh with relief. Teemu Pukki is okay, just a lack of gameplay bothers him a bit. But the effort is also over.

Now it is no longer a question of whether Pukki will score in the final match of the opening round of the European Championship tournament on Monday against Belgium. In that match, Finland still has a chance to win the block, but the threat is also to be last in the block.

“The ankle is in good shape. It hasn’t bothered anyone in the games. I am really happy about that. It shows a little more that I was five weeks without football. My feel is not the best, ”Pukki said at a press conference in Terijoki on Saturday.

The lack of feel for the game meant that he has not yet been able to play full minutes in European Championship matches.

“In the first game, I noticed that the long break hadn’t done any good. I had to ask for a replacement when my legs ran out. ”

Teemu Pukki ran next to Joona Toivio as the Owls warmed up on Saturday during rehearsals.

“In the second game, I had more power, and it felt like in the second half I got into the game for the first time in the tournament. It got more balls and came places. It felt like the feel of the game was approaching the level I wanted. ”

Pukki stated what has been the weakness of the Finnish offensive game in the European Championship tournament so far.

“Of course we know we’ve gone to every match as an underdog. We need to keep our own paint clean. We may have had to play too defensively. We haven’t gotten the whole team up. That’s where we need to be better if we want results. ”

“In the match against Denmark we made a great attack where we got many players up and immediately came the result. Definitely we should get players more up and be able to create more seats. At the beginning of the second half of the Russia match, we had seats. If the last solutions had been better, we could have created finish points. Maybe it stuck in the barrel a bit. ”

Pukki did not have any shots against Denmark, but he was very much in the process of finishing Finland’s winning goal. A couple of times he had to get through in a Danish match. There were already two shots against Russia, one of which went towards the goal.

“In the match against Russia, there was a situation where Röbä [Robin Lod] baited me through. The opponent slipped. I’m not going to make excuses, but it could be a different feeling in those situations if there were games below. ”

Teemu Pukki said that he had already escaped the excitement of the race in the opening match of the tournament against Denmark.

Goat was injured in the last match of the English Championship. At that moment, he felt the fear of not getting into the European Championships at all. The injury was a shock. Physiotherapist for the Finnish team Jari-Pekka “Gene” Keurulainen told a news conference on Saturday that Puk’s injury was a shock to him too.

“We were lucky to have Teemu in Finland right away, and we were able to get a leg. We mapped the situation, and then we started working on the principle that Teemu is okay when the race starts, ”Keurulainen said.

“Norwich City was very worried about its star player. Fortunately, in good cooperation, we came to the understanding that rehabilitation began in Finland. In retrospect, we are making good progress and did not become a backseat. Teemu is fine and has not affected his performance in any way. ”

The buck’s ankle is taped to every match to prevent the injury from recurring. According to Keurulainen, Pukki’s ability to play is “perfect”.

Pukki himself told how he was relieved to hear Keurulainen’s assessment of rehabilitation.

“When I got a call from Gene, he practically promised that his ankle would be okay at the Games. It lifted the feelings back to the ceiling. This tournament has been waiting for so long. Playing in the European Championships is the biggest dream of my career. ”

On Monday Finland will face Belgium, the leader of the Finnish block, in a late-night match at St. Petersburg’s Krestovski Stadium. Puk was asked what he thought of the Belgian star player Kevin de Bruynesta, which he has encountered in his club team career in both Germany and England.

“It’s probably one of the best midfield players in the world, quite clearly. He has played at a high level in recent years in Manchester City. ”

Buck met De Bruyne twice in Norwich City in the previous Premier League season 2019-2020. In the first game, Norwich City took a 3-2 shock victory over Manchester City at home, and Pukki scored and scored the second. The second game was the last match of the season, and in that match, De Bruyne scored two goals and scored one. The home team Manchester City won 5-0.

For the first time, Pukki saw De Bruyne up close in Schalke’s home game, where Pukki was on the bench and De Bruyne was at the opening of Werder Bremen.

“He’s a top player. I already remember him from Bremen, when he was a promising player. Since then, he has been at the top level for many years. ”

Finland’s entry into the playoffs may depend on the results of other blocks, if Finland remains third in the block, but Pukki does not want to think about it yet.

“We have full focus on the Belgium match. Once our games are played, then we can see what the situation is. ”

“Who would have believed [ennen kisoja]that we have a sequel in the last game is in our own hands, ”Pukki asked.

Statistics of Teemu Puk in matches between Denmark and Russia

Read all HS European Championship stories at hs.fi/emkisat

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