Kumasi Asante Kotoko will he heading into the return leg of their friendly game against Ashgold at the Len Clay Stadium on Sunday without their head coach, Paa Kwasi Fabin, but looking to continue where he left off.
Just days after guiding the Porcupine Warriors to a nailbiting 3-2 victory over Ashgold in the first leg clash at the Baba Yara Stadium, Coach Fabin stunned his employers by tendering his resignation.
His unexpected exit led to the postponement of the return encounter at Obuasi last Sunday, but a week on Ralph Akakpo Patron has taken over as caretaker coach of Kotoko determined to maintain the club’s recent performance which saw them recording back-to-back victories against archrivals Accra Hearts of Oak in frienly encounters in Kumasi.
Buoyed by their victory during the first game, Kotoko would aim to stamp their authority on their regional rivals at a terrain which has proved difficult for most visiting clubs.
Ashgold ready for Kotoko
Kotoko looks may seem to be the in-formed club at the moment and even without the league, the Porcupine Warriors have beaten rivals, Hearts of Oak back-to-back and again displayed resilience to subdue a stubborn Ashgold side in the first game.
But as Ashgold seek to capitalize on the tactical gap that may arise as a result of the void on the Kotoko bench, Coach Patron could use this game to convince his employers about his readiness to step into the shoes of his former boss.
Although Ashgold may be heading to this game the rustier side because of playing fewer games than Kotoko, the Len Clay Stadium has always been a difficult terrain for the Porcupine Warriors who lost 2-0 at the same venue during their league season.
They would want to exploit on their home superiority to ensure they defeat their regional rivals especially with three of their players (Saddick Adams, Eric Donkor and Richard Osei Agyemang) coming from the fold of Kotoko.
Kotoko on the other hand, would be counting on their hitman, Sogne Yacouba, to repeat the earlier dose as well as the support of the likes of Amos Frimpong, Felix Annan, Abbas Mohammed and Owusu Jackson to stun Ashgold again.