Nice forward Amine Gouiri has had an impressive first-half of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats season boasting eight goals and fours assists as the 21-year-old played a key part in the Côte d’Azur side's push for European places.
But in recent weeks Gouiri has been less decisive in the final third coinciding with Les Aiglons entering a poor run of form, including three-consecutive home defeats and just two goals scored in five games through November and December.
Gouri is not the only Nice striker currently in a slump. Andy Delort's last league goal was at the end of October and Kasper Dolberg has one goal since September meaning Gouiri has had the added pressure of compensating for his team mates.
Nice have found their feet again of late with a superb 2-1 win at Rennes followed by Wednesday night's 2-1 come-from-behind victory at home to Lens but Gouiri - despite his energetic performance - continued to struggle in front of goal. But Nice coach Christophe Galtier remains confident in his top scorer despite what he calls a 'difficult period' for the young Frenchman.
"He is finding it a little bit harder at the moment," said Galtier. "But this is also a good learning curve for a young player like Amine. Last year, he had a very good season and a very good start to the campaign. After that, it was more complicated for him for different reasons."
But Galtier is not worried by Gouiri's barren spell in front of goal, instead, last season's title-winning coach with LOSC revealed his methods to get the former Lyon man firing again.
"He is a player who has all my confidence and who has big strengths that help our team. He is going through a difficult period, as every player does at some point in the season but we must stick by him, encourage him and ensure we create more chances for him to score."
Nice occupy second place on the table at the half-way point of the season and have an excellent opportunity to qualify for next season's Champions League. But if Nice are to dine at European football's top table next term they will need Gouiri at his best and firing on all cylinders for the second half of the season.
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