“We need him” – Coach Rubi calls for the best version of Ramadan-observing Super Eagles star

There are still about twenty days of fasting left in the holy month of Ramadan and eight match-days in the Spanish Segunda Division for Almeria

Almeria coach Joan ‘Rubi’ Francesc Ferrer has revealed that Nigerian striker Umar Sadiq has been provided with the necessary support to help him maintain his top level during Ramadan.

A devout Muslim, Sadiq has been fasting since the Islamic holy month of Ramadan began on the evening of Saturday, April 2nd. The fasting period is expected to last for 30 days, which should see it end at sundown on Sunday, May 1.

There are concerns that fasting may affect the performance of Sadiq, especially with the Super Eagles striker being so crucial to Almeria’s promotion hopes.

While the 25-year-old found the net seven times in just seven games between February and March, he is yet to score for club and country in April.

But coach Rubi has waived away worries surrounding Sadiq’s fitness, insisting that he has witnessed no drop in the striker’s level since he started fasting nine days ago.

Almeria recognise the importance of Ramadan to the former Partizan Belgrade star, says Rubi, and they have stationed medical professionals around him to give him the best help.

The Rojiblancos face Ponferradina on Monday night, and Rubi has called on Sadiq to bring his A-game to the pitch despite his fast.

“I see Sadiq the same,” coach Rubi said at the pre-match press conference (via Estadio Deportivo).

“We have been talking with the medical staff and the staff to facilitate his work so that he can comply with his religion, but not to give too much hype to this issue and leave him alone.

“He’s already used to that month when he has to be fasting. I want him to be focused on training and playing. He has the help of the club’s professionals.

“Sadiq has to perform like the best Sadiq we’ve seen in the month of February because we need him and he has to do it, with or without food restrictions.”

Almeria sit third on the Spanish second division table, with a win over Monday night’s opponents set to take them back into the top two automatic promotion spots.

Sadiq has been the club’s best performer by some distance, with the ex-AS Roma starlet contributing 25 (15 goals, ten assists) of La Union’s 52 league goals this term.

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