Socceroo Ryan ready for Valencia GK battle
Photo Source: AAP
Socceroo Mat Ryan says he's unsure where he stands with new Valencia boss Cesare Prandelli but hopes his absence won't be a setback as he looks to re-establish himself as the club's first-choice goalkeeper.
Former Italy coach Prandelli was appointed at the helm of the struggling La Liga club last week, becoming the fifth manager Ryan will have played under since his move in July 2015.
The 24-year-old was there for Prandelli's official introduction but had to leave to join the Australian squad ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Japan.
Ryan has played only 10 league matches for third-bottom Valencia and faces an uphill battle to unseat Brazilian Diego Alves for a starting spot.
"My understanding is that the whole squad starts from scratch," he said.
"I can't imagine someone of his stature and coaching ability would hold it against me that I'm away with the national team and not working with him from the outset.
"If that was to influence his decision then it'd be a bit harsh."
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is watching closely, particularly with Mitch Langerak in good form for his German second-tier club Stuttgart.
Langerak only arrived in Jeddah on Tuesday after completing his club duties, meaning Ryan is tipped to start in goal at the King Abdullah Sports City, where he knows he needs to perform well to keep his position.
"It's similar to my club - one bad day can be enough to lose your spot," he said.
Ryan is in no doubt to play despite reports from Spanish media suggesting he was to miss an extended period due to a knee strain he suffered in a freak training incident.
"Some days you see some things come out (in the media) and you can't help but have a bit of a chuckle," he said.
"It just adds to the passion of it over there - everyone wants to know every little detail and trying to be the first one to break stories. (But) it's where you want to be."
Ryan has described his time at Valencia as a "rollercoaster" - he's been in and out of the team and often, like many of his teammates, the target of abuse from the club's obsessive and passionate fanbase.
"It's pretty hard not to carry your football life around with you every second of every day at a club like that," he said.
"With social media these days it's being more and more amplified in every aspect.
"And rightly so - when a team's not doing well they're there to vent their frustrations at 2am or 3am in the morning when we're returning from a defeat away from home somewhere.
"I didn't realise how much a fanbase can have an affect on a club. They've got a lot of power."