Head Coach C.K Akonnor and captain Andre Ayew spoke to us after our 2-0 victory against Sudan on Thursday, at the cape Coast stadium. The win took Ghana to 9 points from three games having beaten South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe in November 2019. We caught up with Coach Akonnor and captain Ayew and this is what they told us.
C.K Akonnor on winning first competitive game
First of all, I feel good. I am grateful to Ghanaians. I am grateful to my players who showed a lot of commitment, my captain, his brother and the other guys showed me a lot of commitment, if you look at the way we prepared for this match, it was a difficult situation. But what was necessary was that we win and we did it and I am very, very happy that I won my first game.
Andre Ayew on scoring two goals and way forward
First of all, I am grateful to all my colleagues for being here and helping us get the three points at home. You know that wasn’t the best of football but as Coach said, in a difficult circumstance, we managed to stay tight, keep a clean and scored two goals, so I am very happy with what we have produced today. As we Always say, in football is not about who scored, it’s the three points that matters, as we needed to have one foot in Cameroon and that is done today. Now we are going to prepare for Tuesday. I would like to congratulate the players, some of them are new, some of them it was their first time playing in the African terrain at home so congrats to everyone. Let’s keep working.
C.K Akonnor on difficulty in winning the match
We didn’t have a full house until yesterday and it’s the first of its kind and that alone for a Coach, is always difficult. But I am not worried about that because it as a result of the COVID-19 situation. It has put all of us in a very difficult moment and so I understand that. At the moment, some players are arriving tonight and I believe, we will prepare very well for the Sudan match.
C.K Akonnor on positives from match
Sometimes you don’t have to be exciting to win a match. What we needed was to win and its positive. These boys managed to get that, it’s positive. The fact that Nettey, a local boy, had a chance to play was also positive and I think what he did today was good. Should he get another chance, I think it will be an improvement and I think that’s another positive one.
Andre on what he told players before the match
There is not much to say. I think, I am happy to have players around me who play are professionals and play for good clubs so they know what is ahead. Even those who may be have not yet played for the Ghana Black Stars didn’t really know. But, not much to say. We all know when we wear this jersey we have to deliver and to deliver to get the three points. We just have to stay calm, stay compact. I believe with the team we have, the offensive power that we have, if we are able to keep clean sheets, we will win a lot of games because we always have opportunities to score goals with the players that we have. So, we need to try and defend as a team and score. That is what we did today, we defended as a team, we stayed compact and as soon as we had the chances, we scored two goals. We could have scored more because we had other chances, counter attacks that we should have played better. But we are still progressing, we are still doing better and better and we are going to fight again next week Tuesday and hopefully we get another good result over there.
C.K Akonnor on areas to improve
It’s important that we all get on board. Everybody will come, then we will work. I think we are set, the fact that some came, in bits, was not too good and so once we have a full house, the likes of Wakaso, and the rest, will be coming soon and once they join us, we will prepare adequately for the return leg in Sudan.
C.K Akonnor on new arrivals
Some will be coming and once they get here, we will all be happy. What is important is that today we won and we dedicate the win to our former President H.E Jerry John Rawlings. He has done a lot for our country, we are all proud of him and may his soul rest in peace.
Andre Ayew on the passing of His Excellency former President Rawlings
It was very sad news to hear on the day of such an important game. We were all a bit down because we all know the history of His Excellency former President J.J Rawlings. But I think the guys stood up to the task, we wanted the victory for him. May his soul rest in peace. May his family stay strong and may God bless them.