'It was 7am and he was already here waiting to train': Danny Cowley reveals Norwich loanee Gassan Ahadme's desire to reclaim Portsmouth spot
Determined Gassan Ahadme turned up to train at 7am in a bid to force his way back into the Pompey team.
And it’s an admirable attitude to succeed warranting praise from an impressed Danny Cowley.
The Norwich loanee has been omitted from the Blues’ last three squads, including Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Plymouth.
Following an eight-goal haul in pre-season and then starting three of the opening five matches, Ahadme has slipped out of the first-team frame.
It reflects not only the strength of the Blues’ playing squad, but also improvements required in the 20-year-old’s game to find a way back.
And Pompey’s head coach is delighted with how the forward has responded to his recent selection set-back.
Cowley told The News ‘Gassan has been training and working hard, his attitude has been great.
‘He was the first at the training ground on Saturday morning. It was 7am and he was already here waiting to come in and train!
‘The group that weren’t involved were in for 9.30am for training at 10.30am, but Gassan wanted to get in and do something before. That’s not quite the way it works.
‘We spoke to him and explained that you can do some extras after training, but you can’t do extras before training, which he totally understood.
‘We love his attitude, you have to train with intelligence as well as the heart. It’s just Gassan, he’s a great kid and I have a lot of time for him.
‘He has this keenness, enthusiasm and a willingness to do well, which you have to always respect in players. You quickly moan if you don’t see those qualities.
‘We have a lot that come in early in the week and do their gym work, such as Miguel Azeez and Gavin Bazunu. They are professionals and have to look after their preparation.
‘Your heart is always with the ones that work hard. You hope that they get the rewards their hard work deserves.’
Having arrived on trial from Norwich, Ahadme rattled in a 26-minute friendly hat-trick against the Hawks on his first outing.
He would total eight goals in four matches, earning a season-long loan from the Premier League side.
However, he has failed to find the net in six appearances since the season began.
Cowley added: ‘He drinks a pint of milk and when he was scoring all those goals in pre-season, all the boys decided they should follow him and drink it too!
‘He has found himself outside the team and has to work and fight his way back in.
‘We believe in his ability, believe in his work ethic, and, when the next opportunity comes along, he has to be ready to take it. I have no doubt he will.’
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