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Mozambique v Ghana: Schedule and critics leave Grant unhappy

Ghana coach Avram Grant has slammed the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) scheduling for the latest round of Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifiers as his injury-hit squad prepare to face Mozambique.

Grant’s men will aim to further tighten their grip on Group H by preserving their perfect record in Maputo on Sunday.

Frank Acheampong, John Boye and Jordan Ayew were all on target as Ghana beat Mozambique – still without a point – 3-1 in Accra on Thursday but Acheampong, Boye, Christian Atsu and Mubarak Wakaso all picked up knocks during the match.

Star forwards Asamoah Gyan (thigh) Andre Ayew (ankle) remain out and Grant, who draws many of his leading players from the European leagues, displayed clear frustration at his pre-match news conference.

“It was a long journey [to Maputo] – seven hours – and we needed to wake up early for training, which is not good for sports,” the former Chelsea boss explained.

“It’s very difficult. Players sometimes come from America and Far East. They need to fly a lot. Players are the performers and they are needed to be at their best mentally and physically.

“CAF need to think about it. They need to think about the players and how it can be better. It’s not good for us or the other teams.”

Grant also rounded on those criticising his team’s performances, despite their unblemished qualification record to date.

“If this nation will concentrate on the football and not the bull***t, we can reach a high level because there is a lot of passion,” he added.

Mozambique coach Abel Xavier is confident his team can end their slump having spotted flaws in the opposition.

“I am very confident my boys will beat the Black Stars, judging from what I saw in the first game,” the former Everton, Liverpool and Portugal defender said.

“They were composed but lacked a little confidence.

“Ghana have a lot of quality and experienced players but my boys have what it takes to overcome the challenge.”

Sat 26 Mar, 2016
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