Adelaide United striker Bruce Djite is determined to continue working hard at training in a bid win back his starting spot.
The 25-year-old started Adelaide’s opening two matches of the season, but has been forced to come off the bench ever since as veteran coach John Kosmina shuffled his side around to find the best combination.
Starting the match from the sidelines might not please Djite, but he remains focused on impressing Kosmina at training and earning his spot in the starting XI.
“Obviously not playing large parts of games is not in my DNA and any player that doesn’t play full games isn’t going to be happy, so you’ve got to push for it, you’ve got to push for your spot,” Djite said.
“You just go out and do the best you can. You can train all week but your chance to make an impact is during the game, so you’ve got to take the chance with both hands whenever it presents itself.”
Argentine Jeronimo Neumann appears at the top of Kosmina’s pecking order at the moment, while fellow striker Sergio van Dijk has also been used ahead of Djite on occasions this season.
That depth up front would be the envy of many clubs around the Hyundai A-League according to Djite, and the American-born striker said that having so much competition for spots can only be a good thing.
“The coach is going to go with whoever he feels fits best for that particular game and I think that’s why we’ve had a different team every week,” Djite said.
“Maybe they (the coaching staff) see something that the other team does or something that we can do better, and when you’re spoilt with the talent we have at the club this season, then he can chop and change and still get good results because the players waiting in the wings are ready to step in and do the job.
“We’ve got a very good squad with a lot of quality players so you’ve really got to earn your spot and that’s what I’m trying to do day in day out.
“It’s a gift and a curse, so it’s great to have that (depth) and it’s a great dilemma for the coach to have.
“Everyone is fit as well so that’s something Kossie has to handle and that’s part of being a manager.
“He’s going to do the best job possible but he’s got to make some tough calls and so far he’s been making the right ones because we’ve been getting some good results.”
Adelaide’s next game comes on Saturday evening when they host the Melbourne Heart at Hindmarsh Stadium, with a chance to leapfrog league-leaders Central Coast and move to the top of the A-League table.
Heart enter the match on the back of an impressive 4-1 victory over reigning champions Brisbane and Djite is expecting another tough contest.
“Melbourne Heart are coming off a great victory, they’ve done quite well so far and they’ve got some good players,” Djite aid.
“Their foreigners have come in and done a great job, Richard Garcia is starting to hit his straps, so we’re definitely going to have to be aware and put out another solid performance if we want to take something from the game.”