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Gyan puts penalty woe behind him to focus on debut

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 Sep 2010

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Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan insists he is completely over his World Cup penalty heartache as he prepares to make his Premier League debut for Sunderland.

Gyan became Sunderland’s record signing when he moved to the Stadium of Light from French club Rennes for 13 million pounds (20 million dollars) on transfer deadline day last month.

The 24-year-old is expected to be a big hit with Sunderland fans after his impressive performances for Ghana at the World Cup.

But, despite a host of fine displays in South Africa, Gyan’s contribution to the tournament will be best remembered for a missed last-minute penalty against Uruguay that would have sent his country into the semi-finals.

However, he refuses to dwell on that costly miss and prefers to look ahead to his first match in England at Wigan on Saturday.

“Sure, I have already got over it. You could see after I missed the penalty, I came back and I scored (in the penalty shoot-out against Uruguay), so you could see I had just put that behind me,” Gyan said.

“Mentally, I am very strong. I can forget things so easily. People weren’t expecting me to take that penalty, but I wanted to prove to everybody that I was capable of scoring.

“I am so strong mentally, so I am free, I am okay now.”

Gyan was linked with Sunderland for several months but it appeared he may be heading for AC Milan or Fenerbahce before Black Cats boss Steve Bruce finally got his man.

“There were more clubs interested in me, but the deal didn’t go through due to the transfer fee. They were not able to afford it,” Gyan said.

“But finally, Sunderland were able to afford it because they really wanted to buy me, and I agreed because the manager has followed me for a couple of years now and he thinks I am the right one for him.

“I decided if the coach has confidence in you, why not? You have to have self-belief, and that is why I am here, to make everybody happy.

“I am a new signing and the (club) record signing, so people will be expecting much.

“It’s like a challenge to me. People will be expecting much from me, so I have to just work hard and show I am worth it.”

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