Sports News of Friday, 12 October 2012

Source: GFA

Appiah on Malawi game and youngsters

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah is confident his side will put on a show against Malawi on Saturday in the qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Appiah's men lead the final round qualifier by 2-0 from the first leg and as the aggregate winner will go through to next year's finals in South Africa.

A tough battle is expected in Lilongwe where Appiah wants his side to be efficient after enjoying fine preparations in Kenya in their build up to the game.

He said: "I think it's been very successful. All the players participated very well. And everyone is very conscious of the fact that we need to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations and for that reason everyone is showing efforts that he should be in the team which makes it more competitive, which is good for me."

The Black Stars team is dominated by many emerging stars, a situation Appiah says has increased competition within the group.

"I think everyone in the team is fighting for a position because the younger ones who came in are are doing well. It doesn't matter if you've been in the team for 10 or six years. If a younger guy is doing well, automatically, he may put you off your position."

The Ghana coach has insisted that he will pick the best players available to him irrespective of age or status as he strives to build a team that can be sustained for many years.

"For sometime now, we've been so dependent on one particular set and as you know many of them are aging and it's important that we try to build a Black Stars which can be sustained for years," Appiah said.

"That's one of the main reasons why I have been introducing more youngsters into the team. I believe when they also come, they do their best. It gives us more opportunity and more room to see more players and in that sense, when one is sick or injured, you can always get someone to step in."

An expectant home support are counting on the team to deliver and Appiah is well aware of the expectations.

"Ghanaians always love their football and their hearts and mind are behind the Black Stars especially. I will edge them to continue praying and supporting the team.

"They [team] will not let the nation down, they are all eager to get a win and get to South Africa."