Sunderland’s Gyan still respects Bent

Asamoah Gyan
Asamoah Gyan
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ASAMOAH Gyan insists he harbours no ill-feeling towards Darren Bent’s decision to leave him in the lurch.

Gyan was Sunderland’s only available striker for Saturday’s trip to Blackpool after Bent opted to quit Wearside for struggling Aston Villa last week.

But the Ghanaian World Cup star believes Sunderland showed they can cope without the England striker after notching a second successive away victory.

“It was a big blow, but we have a lot of players who are capable of doing well for the club,” said Gyan.

“After the initial shock, it wasn’t a strange week.

“We got on with training as we normally would. Everyone was focused and ready to play.

“It was a surprise, a huge surprise. There was no sign of Darren leaving, but it’s one of those things.

“In football, you don’t know what’s going to happen.

“Darren made a decision and we respect that. I don’t blame him.

“Darren did so much for this club and I respect him because he’s a great finisher.

“Now he’s left we have to prove we have the players here who can cope. We have to demonstrate we are capable of winning in the Premier League.”

The 25-year-old, who set up Kieran Richardson’s opener in the 2-1 victory at Bloomfield Road, added: “It was a great win for the fans and the players.

“We had to turn in a good performance and we delivered.

“It’s obvious the manager felt bad after Darren’s move and before the game he tried to make sure we forgot about it. He wanted us to focus.”

Gyan threw both his shirt and shorts towards the travelling Sunderland fans at the final whistle and it may not be the last time the former Udinese striker performs the ritual.

He said: “I used to do that all the time in Italy.

“In southern Italy, players have been doing that for a long time. After every game they would make sure they threw their jerseys and shorts into the fans.

“I’m not doing anything wrong, 100 metre runners go with less.

“I just want the fans to be happy and maybe it will continue.”