18.01.2016 17:00 - in: The team S

    Asamoah hungry for more

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    Kwadwo Asamoah is focused on having a successful second half of the season after impressing in his first full 90 minutes of the season on Sunday

    In many ways, Kwadwo Asamoah’s positive performance in Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing of Udinese was not typical of someone that had been sidelined for the best part of 14 months with a recurring knee injury.

    Assured and explosive with the ball at his feet, it was Asamoah’s rapid run that led to the free-kick from which Paulo Dybala netted Juve’s opener and it was his movement down the left that dumbfounded the hosts’ backline to help create the space into which Alex Sandro could cut inside and score the game’s fourth.

    Anyone watching yesterday’s encounter could be forgiven for thinking that the Ghana international had never been away, such was his effectiveness in the team, and fans will now be hoping that a prolonged return to action can inject further life into the Bianconeri’s push for honours.

    Speaking to the Sky microphones this afternoon, however, Asamoah admitted that such a situation had seemed unlikely in past months.

    He began: “There were several moments when I asked myself when I would get back playing again, because, whenever things were looking on the up, there would always be a new setback throwing my progress off course.

    “Right now, though, I’m in good shape. During the entire week leading up to the game, I felt that things were going well. Of course, it’s up to the coach to decide who starts, but I could sense that I was ready. I’m delighted that we managed to win a very important match, just like the previous nine.”

    As with his own rip-roaring return to the fray at the Dacia Arena Friuli, Juve’s ten-match winning streak in Serie A also looked improbable after their previous ten fixtures had yielded only 12 points. Nevertheless, Asamoah insisted that now was the time to focus purely on future assignments, as they look to maintain their momentum in a bid to lifting silverware at the campaign’s end.

    “After a tough start, we all realised what the areas were that we needed to work on and we’ve now returned to the high standards to which we are accustomed.

    “We’ve our own objectives and we need to keep grafting away in order to continue improving, developing and winning as many matches as possible, after which we’ll see how far we’ve come.”

    From a tactical perspective, few footballers offer the level of versatility as the 27-year-old ex-Udinese man, who excelled both yesterday and during his four-year spell at his former club in a central midfield position, while also proving just as effective out wide on the left in his first two-and-a-half seasons in Turin.

    And Asamoah confirmed that he had no particular preference as to where he’d like Massimiliano Allegri to field him.

    “I enjoy playing in both roles very much. I’m happy to have returned to the middle of the park, where I first started my career, but I also feel at ease on the wing thanks to my first couple of years at Juve.”

    Wrapping up the interview, Asamoah reserved special praise for Paulo Dybala, scorer of a brace yesterday to take his tally to 13 goals in all competitions this term.

    “Paulo is proving what a talent he is right now, but I’m not surprised having seen what he was capable of during his time at Palermo. At 22-years-old, he’s still very young and he has all the ability to become one of the best players around.”

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