Sports News of Tuesday, 23 October 2012
As Ghana await the draw of their group opponent at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Kwesi Appiah has revealed his primary aim is to win every game.
On Wednesday, Ghana, four-time African champions will find out their group opponents at next year's finals when the draw is made in Durban, South Africa.
It is only after the pairing is made that the battle of the 16 qualified nations will be drawn and Appiah insists he has no preferred opponent, saying it will not be an easy task for any of the competing teams.
"It will not be an easy draw for any side. No team has got the divine right to win anything and as a nation who have won four titles and missed some, we know that very well," Appiah told www.ghanafa.org ahead of the draw.
"We have to be really, really focused and play every game like a final and to win. We have to focus on our job and not say one team is of a higher quality than the other."
Every Ghana participation at a tournament is followed by fresh debate about their chances. Their status as an African force leaves bookmakers to immediately make them odds-on favourites to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
"We have to prove to ourselves that we are capable of a better performance. Our targets will not be reduced," he said.
"We have to be together, work hard and see where we go."
Nonetheless, the Black Stars would do well to heed some warnings before they prepare to arrive in South Africa. And that is, football has caught up with the less fancied nations on the continent.
"Every team is a title contender and we are one of them. Others failed to make the draw because they were beaten by quality teams so we know what we are in for," said Appiah.
Appiah is not allowing Ghana's long trophy wait over two decades to add up to the pressure but one thing that he is trying to impact into his team is the will to win.
"Ghana will welcome whoever we draw and approach the competition with the simple mentality of
"The reality of the modern game is that past glories play no role in determining whether you win now. One thing I know is that the impossible can become possible and we will be ready to play any opponent we draw and strive to win," he said.
The Black Stars are one the four top-seeded teams for next year's finals alongside hosts South Africa who are in Group A and will be based in Durban, title holder Zambia in Group C in Nelspruit and Ivory Coast.
Ghana and Ivory Coast are vying for either Rustenburg or Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province when the draw is made.
Teams in the same pot cannot be drawn against each other.
The tournament takes place in South Africa between 19 January and 10 February 2013.
Pot one: South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast
Pot two: Mali, Tunisia, Angola, Nigeria
Pot three: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Niger
Pot four: Togo, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Ethiopia.