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Sports News of Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

I prefer players who are ready to play - Kwasi Appiah

The head coach of the Black Stars, Kwasi Appiah, who has recently come under heavy criticism for his team selection, has explained his criteria for selecting players to represent the nation.

The Ghanaian gaffer’s team selection has been the subject of most discussions by Ghanaians after defeat to the Harambee Stars of Kenya in 2019 AFCON Qualifier with many questioning his decision to leave a few “big names” out in the squad.

The Stars made the trip to Nairobi without Captain Asamoah Gyan, the Ayew brothers and other high profile players. Despite some of these players impressive performances for their club sides, they were not called up for the game against Kenya. A situation which has left Ghanaians wondering after the defeat.

Speaking in an interview with Asempa FM yesterday morning, the 56-year old trainer revealed that he sends invitations to players based on their willingness and desire to play for the nation. "I prefer players who are willing to 'kill' themselves for Ghana", he said.

The former Black Stars and Asante Kotoko left-back has also been criticised by some Ghanaians who think he is finding it difficult to handle the “big name “ in the team.

He quickly refuted those claims, saying it is never a difficult task to manage players. “I don't have difficulties with player management. if it’s difficult to handle the players then I don’t think I’m qualified to be a head coach”.

Despite Ghana’s 0-1 loss to Kenya in Nairobi on September 8, Coach Kwasi Appiah is optimistic of his side's qualification to next year's AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

"Personally, I believe we have a good team. A good team is one that has a strong bench. I believe we will qualify even before the last game".

The game against Kenya saw the return of Inter Milan midfielder, Kwadwo Asamoah, after a long absence. The defeat to Kenya leaves Group F wide open with all four teams having three points after two games.