Gideon Mensah
Gideon Mensah

Coach Chris Hughton rules out replacement for injured Gideon Mensah

Black Stars coach Chris Hughton has made it clear that he will not seek a replacement for injured Gideon Mensah ahead of their upcoming Africa Cup of Nations group qualifier against Madagascar on Sunday.

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The 24-year-old left-back was declared unfit to participate in the upcoming match in Antananarivo after the team's medical professionals withdrew him from the squad following an assessment of the injury. 
Coach Hughton explained to the media that he preferred to work with the current players in camp and would consider a replacement only if absolutely necessary, as he believed he had enough quality within the team and saw no need to bring in anyone new.

"We currently don't have a replacement. We want to continue working with the squad we have this week. If circumstances change over the next few days, we will reassess and potentially consider bringing in someone on standby. But for now, we are not seeking a replacement," stated the coach.

The coach also defended his decision to include the AJ Auxerre defender in the squad despite being aware of his injury. He explained that Mensah's French club was managing his injury to help them through a difficult period in Ligue 1. Furthermore, he attested that the player's commitment to the national team made it impossible to leave him out of the squad.

"Gideon's situation is that his club has been managing his injury. He has been playing in all their games, partly due to his team's difficult position. We could sense his willingness to join the national team, which is a positive sign. Gideon wanted to be here in camp," Coach Hughton explained.

After conducting further medical examinations, it was decided that it would be in Mensah's best interest to excuse him from the squad in order to prevent further injury and keep him fit for the upcoming season.

"We had the responsibility to assess his condition based on the medical information we had. Ultimately, we didn't want to risk him at this stage. It's the post-season, and we don't want him to start another season injured. We felt it was the right decision not to risk him," Coach Hughton concluded.

Already, the coach has been forced to make replacements for injured forward Inaki Williams and centre-back Alexander Djiku who place were taken by Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdorffer and Kasim Nuhu Adams, respectively.

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