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20.03.2009 Football News

Rajevac backs Stars to shine

By Ghana FA
Rajevac backs Stars to shine

Milovan Rajevac is optimistic regarding Ghana's chances of securing a good start when the 2010 World Cup qualifier starts in Kumasi on 29 March.

Ghana plays Benin in the opening Group D match at the Baba Yara Stadium in the first of some six games in the qualifying series.

An opening day win would be enough to calm the tension ahead of the subsequent group games as Ghana target a top-place finish on the four-team table when the qualifiers end later in November.

A top spot finish would represent a massive achievement for the Black Stars who remain keen on a second successive World Cup appearance.

To achieve his targets, Rajevac is demanding that his team give off their best in Kumasi to get the campaign off to a good start.

“The support will be there and we will have to give our maximum. After that (Benin) game, everything will be clearer.

“It's only after the game that we can concentrate on the other games but this is the first game and it's very important,” Rajevac told in an interview.

The Black Stars will be without some key squad members for the game against the Squirrels as injuries and other problems have robbed the Ghana coach off a few of his players.

“Mensah (John) and Kingston (Laryea) are injured. Agogo is not playing, Draman has changed clubs and the Russian league hasn't started yet. Quincy also changed to Cardiff but hasn't established himself yet. I am counting on them to come back to where they belong,” said the Black Stars coach, Rajevac.

“It's a pity because Mensah is not available. It's difficult to find his replacement. Kingston played in the best position in the middle when we played Egypt but is injured. He was great and it would have been good to have them around.

“With Agogo, we were talking the last time and it's clear he has a problem. Physically, he can do it but mentally he has lots to deal with. I want to spare him for now to enable him really get back. It's important for him to psychologically come back. There's not need stressing him at this crucial time.”

However, irrespective of the problems, Rajevac believes the Black Stars will focus their full attention on securing a win. He also places his trust the players around to deliver a good performance.

“I hope we are going to finish the way we want and expect. The players have to prove themselves. There absent ones will be back but until then, the ones available have a duty. The new players would prove themselves with the regulars.”

Twenty sides on the continent drawn for the African Zone qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup and CAF Nations Cup get the campaign underway next weekend.

Ghana are drawn with Benin, Mali and Sudan in Group D of the joint qualifying campaign which will decide which five teams will join hosts South Africa at the tournament in 2010.

The qualification process will also decide the 15 teams who will join host Angola to take part at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.