Ghana Coach C.K Akonnor has been speaking to the Communications team of the GFA ahead of Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan in Omdurman.
Ghana, last week, defeated Sudan 2-0 at the Cape Coast stadium in a match day three fixture that saw captain Andre Ayew scoring a brace. In this interview, Coach Akonnor talks about the readiness of the team, what his side need to win the game and the absence of captain Andre Ayew for the crucial tie.
Read on for the full transcript:
On the readiness of the team
We have to be positive, whatever it is, we are prepared and we will be ready for tomorrow.
On team spirit
The likes of Wakaso and Ofori have always been positive within the team in terms of team spirit and how to move the boys to follow the rhythm and I think it’s been positive and we are hoping that they translate that into the game tomorrow.
On absence of captain Andre Ayew
First of all, he is the leader of the team and so if you don’t have your leader, it’s always a problem. But having said that, these are professionals, they have been Europe for quite sometime now, they are doing well so they know what to do, and of course, with a bit of guidance from the technical team, I think they will be able to do well. He (Andre) is not in and so it won’t be necessary for us to talk about it. Yes, we have lost him, he delivered, he gave us two goals the other day. But now he no more there and so we have to deal with it and strategically we will find a way as to how we will play and get success.
On what the team needs to win
Well, we need a balance. The right balance in attack and defence. In our first game, we found ourselves struggling when we lost possession and that is what we have worked on since the last match. And so, we are looking forward to improve in that area because we gave the opponent a bit of counter attack situations. And of course, we expect them to come with two strikers, they are playing home, they need to win etc and so we need to better in that area and I think once we are good in that area, we will find a good situation.
On what to do to control the game
We need to be compact. Even though we did very well in terms of possession, without the ball, we didn’t look organized and that is the main focus now. We possessed probably 60% of the game, we controlled. And we want to continue to do the same thing here, but we have to be smart when it comes to situations when we don’t have the ball. We need to also play better in that sense.
On South Africa beating Sao Tome back to back
I am thinking about the team itself, whether South Africa won or not. For us it’s important that we continue with what we have done in the past and that means we have to play well and win and win convincingly. It will be difficult tomorrow. Its not going to be easy, of course they gave us some problems and that is my main concern. Its about that, we need to work without the ball and once we do that, we will be good. And I think Wakaso is there to give us that balance.