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Sports News of Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Source: Kwese.espn.com

Kwesi Appiah stands his ground on Ayew brothers

Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah has defended his continuous exclusion of the Ayew brothers from the Black Stars, and insists he has made those decisions without any personal malice.

Appiah has not called on West Ham's Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew of Swansea City since the pair opted out of Ghana's World Cup qualifier against Congo citing injury and illness.

The Ghana boss controversially dropped the Ayews during his first spell in charge for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but insists he is simply doing what he thinks is in the best interests of the team.

"Whomever I call, people will complain so that is something I am used to," Appiah tells KwesèESPN. "There are so many players doing very well and there is no way I can call up everyone.

"The most important thing is that I need to make the right calls with what is ultimately good for this team as the major guide, and not allow what people complain about to influence it. If I am to bother about that then I will be calling up about 100 players."

After failing to rescue Ghana's 2018 World Cup bid, Appiah's main mandate now is to prepare a team that will attempt to end the country's long Nations Cup trophy drought in 2019. And he says reports of that happening without fresh faces is way off the mark.

"I have not said that I won't invite new players from next year," he adds. "What I have kept saying is that I will stop the bulk invitations per match, and limit it to one or two who are outstanding at club level.

"Whether you are building a team or have one in place, there is no way you can shut the door completely on new players, but it is also true that as a coach you need a core group you work with and the plan is to get that as quickly as possible next year."