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Gignac: ‘I’ve not been good enough’

Ligue 1 Conforama > News

Misfiring Marseille striker André-Pierre Gignac has admitted that he must do better after a difficult start to his career at the Stade Vélodrome.

The 25 year-old has managed just one league goal since moving to the reigning Ligue 1 champions in the summer, and while his coach Didier Deschamps spoke out in his defence last week, blaming many of his problems in settling on a lack of fitness, the player himself said that he must do a lot more to meet the huge expectations of the Marseille support.

‘Criticism justified’

“These last six months have not been brilliant for me. I hope to do better in the second-half of the season and help the club retain the title. The problem is I have not scored enough goals, it is as simple as that. One in thirteen league games is not enough when you look at the expectations this club and it’s supporters have. The criticism has been justified. I have not been good enough.

“I think my problems are due to a combination of bad luck in front of goal, and clumsiness. Every time I get the ball, I try to shoot, but I’ve not been as accurate as in the past, or as lucky. I need to improve technically, too, as while at Toulouse I played up front on my own, at Marseille we have the ball more. It’s my job to adapt to the team, not the other way around.”

Target for the boo-boys

Given that he came with a hefty price-tag, fans at the Vélodrome have felt short-changed. Apart from a hat-trick away to Zilina in the Champions League,  Marseille have seen little return for their investment, and Gignac understands why he has often been a target for the boo-boys.

“That’s just part of the job. I have been a supporter of this club myself and so I understand the demands that the fans have. Anyway, it was worse for me in my first year at Toulouse and I am mentally tough enough to ignore the booing. I am brave, strong and sure of myself. This is not any old club, and I need to adapt to where I am.”

Fitter by the day

Despite accepting that an improvement is needed, the man who first shot to prominence with 24 league goals for Toulouse in the 2008-09 season, insists that fitness problems are partly to blame for his paltry goal return.

“I have no specific problem now. Last season I hardly trained at all due to injury but I am catching up on my fitness day by day. However, I need to be at 100 percent to be able to perform well. Last season, I should have listened to my body more but I didn’t because I was so determined to play at the World Cup. I am paying for it now, but that’s not an excuse. Now I am training at 100 percent again.”

'The right club for me'

Gignac and his Marseille teammates return to league action this weekend when Bordeaux visit the Stade Vélodrome on Sunday night. After failing to win any of their last five league games before Christmas and then suffering a humiliating exit from the French Cup at the hands of Ligue 2 Evian TG, Deschamps’ men are in desperate need of three points, and on a personal level, Gignac needs a goal.

“Without doubt, I need to score to get my confidence back. However, I am sure that my period of adaptation is finished and that you will see the real Gignac in 2011. I am convinced that this is the right club for me. I love OM and this city too much to not do well here.”

>> André-Pierre Gignac player page

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