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Soccer News of Monday, 4 February 2008

Source: GNA

Le Roy rates Mensah among world's best five

Accra, Feb. 4, GNA - Ghana's coach, Claude Le Roy rates his captain, John Mensah among the world's best five central defenders. Mensah would be missed when Ghana walk into the semi-final action against either Cameroon or Tunisia on Thursday and the coach insists the player's phenomenal quality would be a great loss to the Black Stars. Le Roy told GNA Sports "John is a very special and important player to us and without him things can be very tough.

"I, however, have 22 other players and we have to make adjustments to ensure we win again on Thursday."

The French-based Ghanaian Defender was sent off in the 59th minute of the epic encounter between the Ghana black Stars and Supper Eagles of Nigeria when the scores were tied at one all.

The Black Stars clawed back from a goal deficit to beat Nigeria's Super Eagles, who had since the mid 70s always gone beyond that stage by 2-1.

Le Roy said his charges would be ready for the Thursday challenge, which they must win to keep their fifth search for a Nations Cup glory alive without the hardworking Mensah.

"We will be ready for Thursday and once more, you will see 'Warriors' on the pitch."

Le Roy praised the mental quality of the team and insisted "it would be very difficult for any team to beat the Black Stars at the moment." The Coach said to beat Nigeria was specific and the team was now preoccupied with recording yet another win that would further brighten their sight at gold.

He reckoned Thursday's duel would be tough but that the role of the fans that would throng the arena could prove decisive for the Stars. "Since time immemorial, semi-final games are difficult because it is always just a step away from a possible glory and we will need the fans behind the team like they did on Sunday."