By Patrick Akoto
Asamoah Gyan expects Al Ain to rebound against Lekhwiya in their opening match in Group C of the 2014 AFC Champions League on Wednesday.
The United Arab Emirate champions have endured a downward spiral in the gulf region and will view the continental game as a necessary distraction.
Now wilting in the heat of an uncertain summer and a subsequent cold snap in the Arabian Gulf League , Al Ain approach Wednesday night’s Group C opener against Qatari side Lekhwiya low in confidence and high in quandary.
Last Friday’s 1-0 league defeat at Al Nasr left Al Ain languishing eighth in the table and the chances of rescuing their 2013/14 campaign are diminishing by the week.
However Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan is confident the Garden City Club can regroup and rebound against the Qatari-based side.
“As one of the experienced players it’s my duty to pick up the boys, to make sure they wake up,” he said. “These are times we need to show our personality to the team because we don’t want it to get worse.
“We’re in a difficult situation at the moment – we accept that, no excuses. But I think everything will be fine. We’re disappointed about results, but it’s football. In football, this happens to any team. I believe in our players and feel we’re still the best team in the UAE, despite everything.”
Anything short of qualification from Asia’s premier club tournament, will shake a club on unsure foundations.
Understandably, Gyan looks to the fresh challenge as a way of building new belief.
“The Champions League’s another new thing,” he said. “The players are under pressure at the moment and that comes from the fans, also.
“But the Champions League can change everything – a good performance and a win can change it all. We’ll bring back the support to ourselves.”