Rajevac seeks Stars away lift

15 years ago

Milovan Rajevac is seeking a way to improve the Black Stars’ away performances to match their home prowess as he prepares for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

The Serbian coach has identified the Black Stars’ away performance as a significant threat to Ghana’s hopes of a second successive World Cup appearance when the qualifiers begin in March 2009.

With the draw for the final round of the African Zone qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and CAF Nations Cup concluded, Rajevac would be seeking to better Ghana’s away record in recent months if his side stands a chance of making it to the World Cup.

Prior to the final round groupings, Ghana lost twice away from home with defeats to Gabon and Libya in the second round stage and recording just a win over Lesotho in Group 5.

A stern test beckons the Black Stars and, as Rajevac put it, he has to “change this” to make things easier.

Ghana plays two successive away matches after the opening home game in Group D with games against Mali – one of the strong candidates in the group - and Sudan all away fixtures for the Black Stars.

Milovan Rajevac is determined to fashion out a different approach when the campaign starts.

“We must try to play as good away as we play at home because that is needed if we must qualify.

“Ghana didn’t have best results away because their style away was different from home. We have to change this,” Milovan Rajevac said to as the draw for Group D was made on Wednesday.

“In Europe, there is no home and away match. We always have to play to win whether home or away.”

And before Wednesday's draw, the coach had recognised the strengths of some possible sides that could be paired with Ghana. Benin, who eventually, were handed a place in Group D came up in his evaluation.

Milovan Rajevac, though confident, calls for respect for all opponents.

“We don’t fear any team and we won’t underestimate any team.

“There are a lot of teams that for some people look not very good. But such teams have a lot of their players playing in Europe. Benin for instance has a lot of players playing in the French First Division. Such teams deserve respect.”

Ghana’s opening match in the 2010 World Cup and CAF Nations Cup qualifying series begins with a home match against West African neighbour, Benin, on March 28, 2009.

The Black Stars, seeded as the top team in Group D were paired with Benin, Mali and Sudan after Wednesday’s draw of Africa’s 20 sides into five groups of four teams.

The opening home game against the Squirrels would be followed up three months later with two successive away fixtures.

Mali would host Ghana on June 6 before the Black Stars go on to play Sudan, June 20, thus two weeks after the clash with Mali before the qualifier goes into another break.