Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has reiterated the relevance of the final game against Egypt in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers on Sunday November 12.
The Black Stars failed to make it to a fourth consecutive tournament since 2006, after a goalless draw with Uganda last month, while Egypt pipped Congo 2-1 at home in the other game to confirm their qualification for the first time since 2006.
Appiah has come under criticism after naming a familiar squad ahead of the depleted Pharaohs’ visit but he says the game will be used to prepare a formidable side capable of winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
“I have heard people saying that there is nothing at stake but that is not true,” Appiah told KweséESPN.
“Every game from now is a step towards 2019 [Africa Cup of Nations] and I have made that point clear to all the players.
“I said from day one that I want to build a team towards 2019 and that has been reflected in the call-ups. I have made the point of inviting new players because it is best to observe them in a certain environment.
“There are some players I know well and others I need to see. As time goes on, there will be a more settled group to work but the door will not close entirely,” he said.
He added: “I heard people complain a lot about how players were becoming too comfortable, how they didn’t contribute much to the national team.
“And yet when Appiah drops them, there is uproar. I don’t understand. There may be nothing at stake against Egypt but we have to win. We have to prove to this country that we still deeply care about the national team.”
The Black Stars arrived in Cape Coast on Tuesday and opened a residential training camp ahead of the game.
Source : Goal