“I’m to the death with my striker” – coach Rubi backs Nigerian star after awful ‘panenka’ penalty miss

Almeria still lead the Spanish second division, but they miss the chance to extend their advantage with a scoreless draw at the weekend following a Sadiq penalty miss

Almeria head coach Rubi has vowed to support Umar Sadiq come what may after the Nigerian forward came under widespread criticism for a failed attempt at a ‘panenka’ penalty kick.

Sadiq won a penalty in the 23rd minute of Almeria’s game week 18 clash at home to Huesca on Saturday and aimed to play the resultant kick himself.

But the 24-year-old tried a ‘panenka’ which dummied the goalkeeper but missed the target.

The visitors rallied after that and did well to earn a goalless draw as Sadiq’s troubles in front of goal continued.

The former Partizan Belgrade star has not scored in six league matches, and he last found the back of the net against Real Sociedad in mid-October.

Sadiq has started the season brilliantly with seven goals for the Rojiblancos, but only one of those has arrived in his last nine games, increasing the pressures on his young shoulders.

Almeria boss Rubi admits he is disappointed by Sadiq’s carefree penalty kick, which would have given his side a precious lead. But the Spanish tactician has refused to take a swipe at a striker whose contribution has been one of the most valuable for the league leaders.

“(Sadiq) has improved the penalties in training, but not taking them like that, but in another way,” Rubi said, as per AS.

“That has left me a little sad. Everything that happens, I take it as my responsibility. It tasted bad because it was a beautiful situation for Sadiq to score his eighth goal and put us 1-0, but we are together for the good, the regular, and the bad.

“I’m to the death with my center-forward.”

Signed from Serbian giants partisan Belgrade last year, Sadiq has grown to become the most valuable player in the Spanish Segunda Division.

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