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Sports News of Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Avram Grant urges players to remain focused ahead of Uganda opener

Black Stars coach Avram Grant has urged his players to think about winning this year's Africa Cup of Nations.

According to the Israeli trainer, his players should not be distracted by the past but rather focus on the task ahead.

The Black Stars lost the final on penalties to Ivory Coast two years ago, denying them a first title since 1982.

"In the last Nations Cup we were very very close - 22 penalties and we were on the better side," Grant said ahead of Tuesday's Group D opener with Uganda.

"But that is for memories - now we want to achieve something." The pressure is on Ghana to finally deliver what has been an elusive fifth title.

And their performances in recent months have come under intense scrutiny from their fans, especially after a World Cup qualifying defeat against Egypt, and a lackluster draw against the same Uganda side they are about to face.

Grant has led Ghana against Uganda three times competitively: that draw in World Cup qualifying and twice in qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, where the Cranes got another draw and a famous victory.

"They're a tough team, it's not easy to play against them - and especially in Ghana we had difficulties in the last games," Grant said.

"But we are not looking at the past too much, we are learning from the past by living in the present."