JUST ask his City colleague Nathaniel Knight-Percival how much Kai Bruenker wants to make an impression in the English game.

The big German striker certainly left his mark on the centre half during training yesterday.

“We were playing five versus five in training,” said Bruenker. “I gave Nat a hit and he fell down.

“I don’t want to hurt somebody but sometimes I hit people with my body. But then I say sorry, I just want to have the ball and protect it.”

The January signing from SC Freiburg II might be still finding his feet in England. But he feels the domestic game here clearly suits his physical approach to forward play.

“A lot of players in Germany say to me that England is the right level of football. This type of striker is dying out in Germany.

“You have a central striker who is not big, just a finisher and smaller guys who will pass to the wingers. This is better for me in England.

“I might hit somebody in the game then the next tackle, they’ll hit me.”

Bruenker got handed his first start against Shrewsbury after four appearances from the bench.

Simon Grayson was suitably impressed by his honest effort and is expected to keep him in to face Portsmouth at Valley Parade this evening.

Chairman Edin Rahic felt it would take the 23-year-old a while to get to grips with the change in environment and step-up in class from playing in the fourth tier of the Bundesliga.

But it is a challenge that Bruenker, who signed a deal until the end of next season, is keen to meet head-on.

He said: “Freiburg was a good apprenticeship to move to a bigger club.The training centre there was one of the best in Europe.

“It was a really big step to come to this country and it was a bit difficult at the beginning. My father was here for the first week in the hotel and then I was alone.

“But I’m really happy to be here now and I’m getting used to it.

“It was a really good feeling the moment when you walk in the stadium and everyone is clapping their hands and singing. It’s my first big club so it is special for me.

“After the Shrewsbury game I said ‘I love the football here’.”

Bruenker was brought in as back-up for Charlie Wyke to give the club’s top scorer a breather at times.

But with Valley Parade in its current state, Grayson has opted to play the two target men together.

“Charlie is one of the top strikers in the league and you can learn a lot off him,” added Bruenker.

“We talked a lot in the Shrewsbury game, he was telling me to go here or there. He protected me a little bit.

“He is a really good guy and has that experience. I think it’s a good partnership on the pitch.”