Asamoah Gyan Sets His Goal Targets

Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan has promised to increase his goal tally next season for Sunderland in the English Premier League. Last season was Gyan’s first in English football following a club-record £13m move from French side Rennes, and while his performances were mixed, he still finished the campaign as the club’s joint leading scorer. He enjoyed a November purple patch, scoring four goals in three matches, but never looked totally comfortable as a lone centre-forward after the departure of Darren Bent. There were reasons for that, most notably the lack of attacking midfield threat behind him, and while Steve Bruce has spent more than £10m signing Wickham and Ji Dong-won this summer, Gyan remains the linchpin of the Sunderland attack. With that in mind, he is determined to improve on last season’s total of ten league goals plus a consolation strike in the Carling Cup. “As a striker, you always have to be looking to improve on what you’ve done before,” he said. “I’d always back myself and my scoring ability. “Last season, I scored 11 goals, so my first target is to get more than that. That is my personal goal and I will be doing all I can to achieve it. “Of course, what matters most is the team, and the most important thing is to get as many points as we can in the Premier League. But as a striker, I am in the team to score goals. That is the best way I can help everybody else out.” Gyan’s first chance to get off the mark will come at Anfield as Sunderland open their Premier League campaign against Liverpool on August 13. He admits he is still some way short of full match fitness, but with friendlies against Burnley, Hartlepool United and Hibernian still to come, is confident he will be firing on all cylinders come the middle of next month. “It was good to finally get a game under my belt (on Wednesday),” he said. “It’s been difficult in the last week or so, training really hard but not playing matches, but I needed to do that work to get my fitness levels back to 100 per cent. “The Kilmarnock game was tough because it was my first game, but I feel as though my fitness levels are getting better. “There’s still room for a little bit more improvement, but I’m sure that by the time the first game of the season comes around, I’ll be back to the top of my levels. Then, I can deliver some good things for the team.”