ASAMOAH Gyan admits Sunderland are relishing the prospect of a 10-day break from the rigours of the Premier League after a demanding month.
Today’s match with Blackpool will be Sunderland’s seventh in 28 days – a schedule which has seen Lee Cattermole, Danny Welbeck and David Meyler all succumb to injury. But Steve Bruce’s men will be handed a breather following the trip to Bloomfield Road with the FA Cup fourth round taking place next weekend.
Sunderland are not in action again until the clash with Chelsea on Tuesday week when the likes of Cattermole and John Mensah could be available.
Gyan told the Echo: “It will help me and my team-mates to have a break after today’s game. At least we get some days to rest.
“Although we will be training, it will help us to be able to relax without a game. It’s been really hard playing games every three days over Christmas.
“We had a couple of injuries due to the amount of games but I think for now, we are mainly playing once a week which will help us.”
The break will be particularly crucial for Gyan – Sunderland’s only available striker for today’s game.
The demands of the festive schedule were a shock to the system for the Ghanaian World Cup star, who had been expecting to return home over Christmas.
Bruce allowed Gyan to fly to Ghana for three days prior to last weekend’s Wear-Tyne derby and the 25-year-old believes the trip allowed him to regain his focus.
“It was really hard not to have a break at Christmas,” he said. “On Christmas Day I was all alone while my family was back in Ghana.
“I wasn’t so happy, so the manager had to give me some days off. I went to see my family for three days and got back on the Thursday before the derby.
“I have to thank the manager because he dealt with me very intelligently because I was missing my family.”
Gyan’s dramatic last-minute equaliser against Newcastle was his eighth goal in Sunderland colours since his £13million club record move from Rennes last summer.
The striker is content with that haul, considering he wasn’t fully fit until November.
Gyan added: “For now, I think statistically the amount of goals I’ve scored in the games I’ve played has been quite good. The first season is always quite hard.
“But I think I’m doing well.
“I came here only half-fit and the coach had to give me time to settle down. Everything is going well.”