27.12.2007 Sports News

Le Roy seek strong Stars spirit

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Ghana coach, Claude Le Roy is counting on the Black Stars to show a strong character when the African Cup of Nations kicks off.

The Black Stars' last game ended in a six-goal thriller with Benin in last month's 4-nation international tournament hosted by Ghana.

The Black Stars had to rally back from two goals down after 47 minutes to beat Benin 4-2 in the finals of the four-team competition. And prior to the opening game of the first African Cup of Nations against Guinea on January 20, Claude Le Roy wants his team to exhibit such a character and maintain their focus throughout the competition.

“I think to win the Nations Cup; it's exactly this (performance against Benin) kind of temper we have to show.

“You know this team remembers me of my team in Cameroon most times we are down 2:0 and coming back to win 3:2 or 4: 2 or at times 5:3. It's very important that in the future we show this kind of behavior because we know what we can do and when you know that, you have to prepare.

“We must not forget that at one moment we were losing 2:0 and it won't be possible to come back but now we know that we can do that against a good team, Benin, who qualified in the last 16 of the African Cup of Nations.

“That means it is not a bad team. To be honest, we know that there will be better teams than Benin in the African Cup of Nations, we have to be very clear on that but we possess and have good quality to play football,” Le Roy says.

Although he remains hopeful of Ghana's title chances, Le Roy says the Black Stars are not close yet and sings the usual coaching mantra, one game at atime.

“We are not close. We are very far to win the competition. We have to win the first game against Guinea. It will be a very tough game because they are one of the skillful teams people are not talking about. After Guinea, we have Namibia and then Morocco; we will go step by step.”

The Ghana coach would set up camp in Dubai early January to prepare the Black Stars for the African Cup of Nations before naming his 23-man squad for the competition.

Ghana is in Group A, together with Namibia, Guinea and Morocco. The top two sides qualify from the group into the next round of the competition.

The Black Stars would kick off the finals on January 20 at the Ohene Djan Stadium in the capital, Accra, against Guinea.

Source: GFA

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