Date: 3rd September 2019 at 8:20am
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Teemu Pukki has been named as the PFA Player of the Month for August ahead of some rather high profile competition.

Pukki scored five goals and provided one assist in his first three games in the Premier League, scoring at Anfield, a hat-trick at home against Newcastle and then scoring again at home against Chelsea.

His opposition for the fan-voted award came from some fairly big established top-flight, international stars. Teemu beat Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne, as well as Ashley Barnes, Mason Mount and Tyrone Mings to the award as he polled 54% of the vote.

Teemu is now away with Finland on international duty as the Finns look to consolidate their current second place in Group J behind leaders Italy.

Finland will play both Greece and Italy with Teemu already having three goals in European Championships qualifying.

In other news, Norwich City’s development side will play their first game in the EFL Leasing.com Trophy tonight as they take on Oxford United.

This is an excellent opportunity for City’s youngsters to get competitive game time against senior players and, they will be hoping, to catch the eye of Daniel Farke.

The first team squad are currently struggling with injuries to three of their four senior centre backs, which is a huge cause for concern, and development side Captain, Akin Famewo looks best placed to give Farke a decision to make, if he is unable to include Christoph Zimmermann or Grant Hanley in his squad to face Manchester City in just under two week’s time.

The 20-year-old was signed from the Luton Town academy, just like Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis and in an interview with the Pink ‘Un, he has explained that he and the rest of the academy players can see a clear pathway to the first-team, something that drives them all.

“You look at the progress of Max and Jamal and that tells you this is a club where the head coach will give young players a chance,” he said. “There is a pathway for us if we can show we are capable of making the step up. It is a massive thing to see that. You might be at a club where that is spoken about but here you can actually see the progress with the young players in the first team.”

Oxford United have had an indifferent start to the season in League One with five points from their first six games but Famewo is under no illusions that they will provide a tough test and that how he and his team mates respond to that test, could help them all.

“I believe this is a great platform for us,” he said. “You can speak about those type of players and that is what we are aiming for. The teams we play in this competition have seasoned, experienced professionals. That means they are more likely to punish our mistakes because they either expect us to be a bit naive or they know how to take advantage.

“We are going to go in the Oxford game fired up and looking forward to it. They might look upon us as a young team or it could go the other way and they see us as scalp. We are ready to showcase ourselves.

“It will be a good challenge and a great experience for us in our careers. This is a first chance for a lot of the boys to play men’s football. They are a club in League One and that is a good standard for us to test ourselves. If you are in any competition it isn’t just about trying to perform, you want to go as far as you can. You never go into a game looking to be second best.

“This is a massive opportunity for this group. Let’s see how far we can go.”

It is indeed, so fingers crossed and let’s see how well the boys can do tonight and you never know, it might just put them in the running for the first team.

OTBC

 
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