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Soccer News Mon, 31 Dec 2007

Mensah confident of Nations Cup title win

Ghana’s stand-in captain John Mensah is confident of his country winning the African Cup of Nations title despite the absence of key player Stephen Appiah.

The Black Stars were tipped as one of the favourites for the tournament which starts on 20 January until inspirational captain Appiah was ruled out of the competition.

Appiah was ruled out of the tournament after suffering complications following a knee surgery he had in June.

But the France-based defender says the host nation have the men to win the title and that achievement will make Appiah very proud.

"There is no doubt that our captain's absence has dampen spirits a little bit but I want to assure Ghanaians that the rest of players are ready to die for the country to win the title," Mensah told Ghanasoccernet.

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"Stephen will be disappointed in us if we give up because of his absence and we want to make him proud by winning the title to honour him.

"We have taken a lot of lessons from the way he has led this team and we are capable of continuing with the good works he has done for mother Ghana.

"We the senior players in the team have spoken with the captain and we have assured him that we will win the Nations Cup trophy and we want the support and prayers of Ghanaians to help us reach this goal.

"We have the quality players and we won't allow this trophy to come to Ghana and go to another country. It will stay in Ghana by the grace of God."

Mensah, who plays for French side Rennes, says he was shocked to have heard of Appiah complications but is confident of the captain's swift return to action.

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"Honestly when I first heard of the case from GFA officials I was shattered but when I spoke with Stephen he even encouraged us not be down but to fight for the people of Ghana," Mensah said.

"He is a strong man and I know he will return to action soon to do what he likes most and that is by helping the national team of Ghana.

"All the players in the team are praying for him and we also want Ghanaians and well wishers to join in the prayers for our national hero."

Source: ghanasoccernet
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