Young Africans (Yanga SC) coach Luc Eymael has warned striker Gnamien Yikpe he only has the remaining three matches in the Mainland Premier League season to save his career at the club.
The Ivorian striker has struggled to fit well in the Yanga playing system since he signed for the giants from Kenyan champions Gor Mahia, and was recently heavily criticised by the fans after his alleged poor displays.
After the game against Azam FC which ended in a 0-0 draw, agitated Yanga fans thronged the team’s dressing room at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam demanding the club officials release the player.
This forced coach Eymael to bench the player in subsequent matches but on Wednesday he was given a chance, coming on in the second-half against Singida United and managed to score the third goal as Yanga beat the already relegated side 3-1.
Eymael has now told Goal he was impressed with Yikpe after coming on in the match but warned him he has to show the same spirit in the remaining three matches to be assured of keeping his place in the team.
“It is true I put in Yikpe because we needed speed up front, I also introduced Ditram [Nchimbi] and some players also got the chance and some took it and some did not take it and I hope the game will motivate [Yikpe] for the three remaining games," Eymael told Goal on Friday.
"That will be three finals for Yikpe, very important for him if he wants to stay at the club."
On the win against Singida, Eymael said: “We won 3-1, we had to win the match, we had to win 7-1, we missed many chances, Yikpe scored but he missed one or two goals, before that David [Molinga] missed two chances, we missed many scoring chances, we didn’t play very well.
“Like is said before, we played without seven players, key players because of injuries and suspensions, we must not forget that and when you don’t have seven key players, then it becomes difficult and after we used a young squad, not experienced enough but we won the match.
“We also have to do all our best to remain second until the end of the season.”
Yanga will next face Mwadui FC in the league on Saturday.