Rajevac endorses Black Stars
Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac believes his squad at the African Cup of Nations is capable of leaving a mark by the time the three-week tournament ends in Angola.
Rajevac, 55, who is strutting through his first coaching assignment outside his native Serbia wants to aid Ghana's campaign for a fifth title success, with the last continental silverware coming in 1982.
Ghana may have high hopes of battling for the title but preparations have been blighted by injuries which contributed to two high profile late withdrawals.
Setbacks have befallen the Black Stars who still wait on Michael Essien to recover fully from injury but Rajevac is happy with his squad despite the pressure.
“It's the dream of every player to play for his nation. Especially at such a big competition like the African Cup of Nations, every player will want to play well. Sometimes not all players make it due to problems like injuries.
“But as a coach, I have to keep on giving them confidence and prepare well.
“It's a big competition and I'm happy to lead a wonderful group,” Rajevac told www.ghanafa.org.
The Black Stars team includes eight members of the Fifa Under-20 World Cup winning team with eleven of the called up 23-man squad set for their CAN debut.
Rajevac sees no reason why his called up players should not challenge for honours when the competition begins for Ghana on Monday with an opening group game against Togo.
“They all deserve to be part of the team and will play. We have a good team with lots of youngsters who have achieved lots within a short time.
“The Nations Cup is different and difficult but I believe this group can be a success. We have to stick together and keep on improving,” he said.
Reviewing the Ghana's pre-tournament base in Nelspruit, South Africa he said it was important to enable the team prepare well.
"I always want 100% from my team and during preparations and that is what we do. We have to prepare well for the competition though we had some problems with injuries.
“We used all players and it was the time to get everything going,” the Ghana coach said.
Ghana starts their Group B campaign against Togo on Monday. The Black Stars then meet Ivory Coast four days later before finishing up the group stages against Burkina Faso on January 19.