STEVE Bruce accepts Manchester City now know all about the goal threat of Asamoah Gyan but he says that won’t help the Blues if the Ghanaian finds his best form again this weekend.
Gyan was in fantasy-football form in Ghana’s 1-1 draw with England at Wembley midweek, scoring his country’s equaliser and being a thorn in the side of Fabio Capello’s team throughout.
Man City players Gareth Barry, Joe Hart and, most of all, bamboozled centre-half Joleon Lescott, saw first-hand the Sunderland striker’s skill and eye for goals as England struggled to contain him.
And Bruce is hoping for a similarly inspired display when the £13m frontman puts on the shirt of his club instead of his country.
“Asa was great for England and if City didn’t know all about him before, they will now,” said the Sunderland manager.
“It’s one thing knowing the danger and another thing altogether stopping it and if Gyan’s in the same form on Sunday he’ll be a constant threat to them.”
Bruce admired the way that Ghana in general and his own players in particular went about their jobs at Wembley.
And he’s hopeful that they can produce the same sort of performances this weekend.
“They love playing for their country and I know how absolutely desperate they were to put one over on England,” he smiled.
“What I’m hoping though is that the high will continue for them and they’ll play just as well against City.
“That extra day’s rest with the game being played on a Sunday could be quite a key factor in terms of them recuperating and we’re hoping to see them at their best.”
Despite a successful season so far, Gyan has failed to sparkle in Sunderland’s last three games – games in which the Black Cats have drawn a blank each time.
But the club’s record signing will at least have reinforcements up front this weekend.
Bruce said: “We’ve got Danny Welbeck back now and Fraizer Campbell available from the bench this Sunday.
“It’s a great boost for us but also no doubt for Asamoah as much as anyone.
“He carries out that lone striker role so well that maybe we’ve been putting too much pressure on his shoulders asking him to play it for so long.
“I’m sure he’ll be delighted to have Danny and Fraizer available to play alongside him and if he’s still buzzing from the Ghana game he could be right back to his best.”