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AFCON 2021: Our preparations were not enough - John Paintsil on Ghana exit

BY: Kweku Zurek
Former Ghana full-back John Paintsil
Former Ghana full-back John Paintsil

Former Ghana full-back John Paintsil has attributed the Black Stars' shock exit from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to poor pre-tournament preparations by the team.

Paintsil in an interview with BBC Sport Africa said the players did what they could as individuals but their preparations which included a change in coaches and only one pre-tournament friendly left a lot to be desired.

"We started with a local coach, CK Akonnor, a former Black Stars captain, who was coaching the boys at the start of the qualifying stage," Paintsil said.

"But, after their second qualifying game, he was replaced by Milovan Rajevac. I don't think Rajevac did many things wrong, but, as a team, we didn't play enough.

"He joined with only a few months to go until he tournament. It was not enough time to get his players together.

"There were no friendlies, just the remaining two qualification matches and a two-week training camp before the tournament. Our preparation was not enough".

However, Painstil wants Ghana to keep the same squad that represented the Black Stars in this tournament and get them to play more friendly matches.

"We want to see the same faces, we want to see them move along together. I think the understanding was there during the tournament, but I don't think there was good communication among the players," he said.

"The cohesion is not there, nor is the team spirit. You don't see that hunger to win. Developing this group through more friendly matches is the way to go forward".

Ghana's exit after a draw with Gabon and losses to Morocco and Comoros was the first time the Black Stars have gone out in the group stages since 2006 in Egypt.