Chris Hughton explains why he benched captain Andre Ayew during the Black Stars Angola win
Chris Hughton, the head coach of the Black Stars, has defended his decision to drop skipper Andre Dede Ayew from the starting lineup in Ghana's recent match against Angola.
Ayew, 33, was not named in the 21-man squad for the game and watched the entire game from the substitutes bench with Arsenal star Thomas Partey captaining the side.
Speaking after the game, which saw his side secure a late 1-0 victory, Hughton explained that such choices were an integral part of a coach's role.
Despite Ghana struggling to assert themselves throughout the contest, a moment of chaos in the Angolan penalty area resulted in Antoine Semenyo finding the back of the net. However, the absence of captain Andre Ayew was notable, and when asked about the forward's omission, Hughton was quick to explain that it had been his choice not to select him.
"As a head coach, you have to make difficult decisions. You know the quality that Andre possesses, but you also know the quality of the rest of the squad," Hughton said.
"Ultimately, it was my choice not to play him, but that doesn't reflect on his abilities as a player. He remains a valuable member of the team."
Hughton, who previously served as a technical advisor to the Black Stars, took over as head coach earlier this year.