Egypt's Ramadan Sobhi unfazed by lack of playing time at Stoke City
Egypt winger Ramadan Sobhi says he is confident that if he continues to focus on his work he will establish himself at Stoke City despite a slow start to the season.
"Discipline is the key word. I am focused on training and working hard without paying attention to what others say. My participation is up to the coach," Sobhi told a sports programme on Monday.
The 19-year-old winger joined Stoke City last month in a record fee for an Egyptian of six million euros. He featured only in three games as a second half-substitute totaling 43 minutes.
"I am not worried about that and I am sure my time will come if I keep up the good work until I reach my goal at Stoke City," he added.
"Things aren't easy here but the fans have supported me since day one. Of course it is not like they are screaming my name but I can hear them during warm-ups," he said.
The skilful winger, who is seen as one of Egypt's hottest prospects, has helped Ahly win two league titles in three seasons.
He also helped Egypt qualify for the 2017 African Nations Cup qualifiers for the first time since 2010 as he became a regular choice of coach Hector Cuper.
Injury against Guinea
However, the player faced criticism after a subpar display during last week's 1-1 home draw against Guinea, where he missed a late penalty kick.
Sobhi came in as a second-half substitute, failing to provide the needed spark to beat the visitors.
"What people don't know is that I played the game with pains in my foot but I wanted to be part of the team and help my teammates win," he explained.
"I was so confident I could have scored the penalty but I wasn't lucky," he added.
In his seven appearances for Egypt Sobhi only scored once; a precious winner against Nigeria in the 2017 African Nations Cup qualifiers that paved the way for the Pharaohs to get back to the continent's elite competition.
The seven-time African champions will take on South Africa on Tuesday ahead of next month's clash against Congo in the beginning of their 2018 World Cup qualifiers campaign.