Sports News Thu, 20 Jun 2019

Five or six countries are ahead of Ghana as favourites for AFCON - Ayew

Ghana skipper Andre Ayew has downplayed their chances of winning the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), pegging the likes of hosts Egypt, star-studded Senegal and Cup holders Cameroon ahead of the Black Stars.

James Kwesi Appiah's outfit is among 24 nations set to vie for gold at the continental fiesta which commences on Friday.

“Let’s be honest, Ghana has had a great team for the last 12 or 13 years, from the [Stephen] Appiah, [Sulley] Muntari and [John] Mensah etcetera generation, [from] the 2006 World Cup to now," Swansea City attacker Ayew said in an interview with the Ghana Football Association's media.

“The country has always been able to keep a certain level of performance, especially in the Afcon.

“Surprisingly, this is the first time since I [started] playing an Afcon where we aren’t favourites.

“We’re usually [among] the top two or three favourites and we always get to the semi-finals or final but this time, other countries like Senegal, Egypt, Cameroon - about five or six countries - are ahead of us."

Four-time champions Ghana are just about wrapping up preparations as they are set to leave their pre-tournament camp in the United Arab Emirates for Egypt on Thursday.

"We've been training very hard and it's been a wonderful trip here," Ayew said.

"We have been working hard with the players and the staff. We had two sessions a day for a very long while. We did a lot of gym work, we did a lot of different sets of training.

"But I have seen a lot of determination. I have seen a lot of players working hard to get to their top shape both technically and tactically.

"And we keep on working hard. We believe that is the only way we can make it. We need to keep working as a team.

"Training is the key to success so we are working hard and the camp has been great. So far we have not had any issues and we hope that it stays like that. The training facilities have been good."

The Black Stars have been drawn against Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau in Group F.

Source: Goal.com
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