Adam Taggart admits he doesn’t know if he’ll still a Suwon Bluewings player next season - but whatever happens the Socceroos striker is hoping his rekindled goal instinct will keep them in South Korea’s top division.
Last year’s K League 1 Golden Boot has endured a spasmodic campaign, yet is beginning to flourish again when it matters most under new coach and club legend Park Kun-ha.
A hat-trick in last weekend’s 3-1 win over fierce rivals FC Seoul revived recollections of last season’s 20-goal haul, and brought Taggart’s tally to eight in 19 this season, with nine of those appearances coming off the bench.
With four games left - and only a three-point buffer on bottom-placed Busan iPark - all eyes are on Taggart to find a route to safety, starting with Sunday’s visit to second-bottom Incheon United.
And there’s the AFC Champions League to come after that.
Amidst ongoing interest from the Middle East, Taggart told The World Game: “It’s hard to say what will happen next season.
“I’m contracted for another year at Suwon, and I’m very happy here, but nobody can guarantee anything in football. “A lot will depend on how the next few months pan out with the club.
“I’m looking to finish the season on a real high. If something is then put in front of me then you’ve got to consider it.
“But until then I’m a Suwon player.
“Ever since last year it’s been made clear by the club they were interested in finding a sale.
“As a player, if that doesn’t happen it can be difficult because it’s always good to know where you stand and what you’ll be doing.
“But that’s the way football is - there’s always going to be speculation over what you’re doing next.”
Taggart said the ravages of the coronavirus on the football ecosystem had added another element of uncertainty.
“Who knows what’s going to happen,” he added.
“Nobody can be sure and then you factor in the coronavirus, which has upset football all around the world.”
Having overcome a hamstring niggle Taggart, 27, believes last month’s introduction of Kun-ha in place of interim coach Joo Seung-jin will prove pivotal.
Taggart struggled to make headway during Seung-jin’s ill-starred three-month tenure after he stepped in following the resignation of FA Cup winning coach Lee Lim-saeng.
“Park is a really good guy and a good coach, and he’s been proving that with our recent results,” added Taggart.
“We’ve been getting better each week. He’s an intelligent man and has a bit of authority about him, and that’s good for the football club.”
Taggart concedes it’s been a season of personal frustration so far, notwithstanding the treble against FC Seoul, which included a world class opener.
“I’ve been in and out of the starting lineup pretty much from the first game and it’s been difficult to get any rhythm going,” he said.
“I’ve always been someone who plays better when I’m playing consistently and regularly, and this year that just hasn’t been the case.
“Lee (Lim-saeng) was a good friend of mine and he left quite early (in the season) and the next guy who came in (Joo Seung-jin), well I really don’t have much to say about him I guess.
“But Park is turning the club around and I only expect that things will keep getting better.
“You need to feel that confidence from your coach because, for me, that rhythm side of the game is so important.
“He wants us to be more of an attacking side. That was his message when he came in, and it’s something we’d been waiting to hear for a long time.
“We’d been very conservative in the way we’d been playing and it’s good to have a coach who is attack-minded and wants to take the game to the other teams.
“Last week was an amazing one for me and it gives me added confidence going into these final few rounds.”