Al Ahli striker Asamoah Gyan has revealed a growing confidence about mentor Cosmin Olaroiu’s ability to restore him to his predatory best.
Gyan, 30, has scored two goals in 80 minutes of action since a shock season-long loan was signed to bring the Al Ain idol back to the UAE after one dismal year at Shanghai SIPG. Such lethal form contrasts positively to his time in the Chinese Super League, where he scored just seven times during 20 appearances.
The Ghana skipper excelled under Olaroiu from 2011-13 prior to the coach’s controversial defection to Dubai and he was sure the double act can sweep all before them once again.
“As I said before, I’m happy to play here and I’m happy to play under a coach I feel comfortable with, so it’s a good thing,” Gyan said after he scored a penalty within four minutes on Saturday as the Red Knights began their Arabian Gulf League title defence with a 4-0 thrashing of Emirates Club. “I’m playing with happiness right now.
“I’m not at my best shape but at least I got a goal today. It’s very, very important for me.
“My condition is getting better, that’s compared to other two games that I played. I was able to play around 60 minutes, but I felt my legs go a little.
“I could have continued but the coach didn’t want me to take any risks and took me out to help me recover for the next game. So it’s a good step for me.”
A late flourish was required from Ahli to see off their weekend opponents, with UAE internationals Ismail Al Hammadi and Ahmed Khalil coming off the bench to turn a tight match into a rout.
“We’re very lucky to have a good coach who understands the game and who knows how to use the players on match day,” said Gyan. “Our quality and with the quality of the coach that we have, before we step onto the pitch everybody knows what he’s doing.
“It’s a good thing for us, but we should remember to keep on fighting. It’s very early to speak about targets – we have a very good future.”
Central to Ahli’s hopes of a glorious 2016/17 are the attacking trio of Gyan, fellow striker Lima and playmaker Everton Ribeiro. The former mentioned believedd the burgeoning relationship with the Brazilian duo can carry the club to more silverware.
He said: “We’re cooperating very well, we speak outside the pitch about how we’re going to play. Even at the training ground we’re getting on very well, which is very, very important.
“They’re both great players and me being a part of them is also a good deal for the team. It boosts our confidence.
“Our relationship is going really well and I hope we carry on. If we continue like this, we can be champions again.”
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