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01.03.2005 Football News

Hearts Fans Cry For New Men

By Graphic
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A section of supporters of Hearts of Oak yesterday demanded the immediate resignation of the management of the club moments after the team's uninspiring goaless draw with RTU in the Coca-Cola Top 4 tournament in Accra.

Chanting “give way to another group,”“we need new men,” among others,the fans besieged the fore-court of the Presidential box, awaiting the emergence of the club's top guns who stayed in till the area was clear of the “militants”.

At the peak of their anger when they pushed by inches towards the entrance of the Presidential box, the supporters were only kept at bay by a combined Police and military presence.

Demanding a fair bargain on behalf of the players of the club,a spokesman for the group blamed management for player apathy and lack of motivation in recent games.

The protest by the fans came simultaneously to Coach Jones Attuquayefio's SOS message to all stakeholders to put their shoulders to the Hearts wheel as they venture into Africa on Sunday.

“The situation is difficult and I urge all stakeholders to join hands to move Hearts forwards,” Jones said after his side laboured in vain against RTU.

“We seem to be in crisis and I ask for everybody to come on board to help,” he said.But the managerial crisis that forced some national Chapters executives, including Chairman Neil Armstrong Mortagbe,Public Relations Officer Ken Saro Wiwa,and Deputy National Organiser Eddie Palmer, into an emergency meeting on the parking lot facing the main gate of the stadium, were of little importance to Jones as he looked ahead into sunday's game in Port Harcourt against Dolphins FC with uncertainty.

“Can you beleive that I don't have 11 of the players I sent to Enyimba,” Jones lamented.The players include Acquah Harrison, Saliu Muntari,Anthony Annan,Abdul Samad Okacha, Kobina Dodzie,Richard Anderson,Kwame Antwi and goalkeeper James Nanor,four of whom actually played against Enyimba.

“I have no idea where these players are, and five of those who played today only attended training on Friday,” the coach said.

In the midst of the staring quagmire, coach Attuquayefio still found his optimistic garb, declaring that “if our training is consistent this week, we can only hope for the best.”

“We have had no consistency at training during the Top 4; in fact,we have different sets of players attending training each week and this has affected us greatly,” he griefed.

Hearts are expected to leave by a chartered flight on Thursday for their second journey to Nigeria within two weeks.

Like it happened against Enyimba,coach Attuquayefio had little knowledge of Dolphins FC,except for the fact that they were formerly Eagle Cement,a side that once played Hearts in the 1998 CAF Champions League.

They went under water thereafter,but on their re-emergerce on the continental scene,the Hearts coach reckons they would not be a mean side.

At least, their 3-1 aggregate win over Renacimiento of Equatorial Guinea in the preliminary round makes them a potent side.

Indeed,with Benard Don-Bortey, Prince Tagoe,Emmanuel Osei Kuffour and Louis Agyemang (unless he makes a dramatic appearnace this week) out of Hearts'line-up,Jones enters Sunday's away game with full recognition of the fact that “one era is gone and we have to look forward with hope to see what we can achieve”.The four scored 12 of Hearts' 16 goals in last year's continental campaign.