Otto Addo: I may return to Black Stars top job

BY: Maurice Quansah, Doha, Qatar
Coach Otto Addo
Coach Otto Addo

Otto Addo says he still has a future with the Black Stars and has left the door open for a future return to the national team as head coach after his current contract with the Black Stars comes to an end.

Ghana’s elimination from the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar effectively ended the coach’s interim role with the team as he looks to continue with his responsibilities with German giants Borussia Dortmund as their talent coach and scout where he develops specific areas for their young talents and prepares their transition into the senior team.

He told the media he had to respect his contract with his German employers and could not go beyond the six-month leave granted him to manage Ghana’s World Cup qualification playoffs and the preparation for the World Cup final. Nonetheless, he expressed his willingness to provide support to his successor or the Ghana Football Association (GFA) if need be.

The coach said his decision to step down after the World Cup was public knowledge and was based on the agreement between the GFA and Dortmund to release him for just six months, after which he reverted to his developmental role with the club.

“Surely, maybe one day I’ll get the chance to work again with the GFA, but for the next two and a half years, I have a contract with Borussia Dortmund and I have to respect it,” he said at the teams Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Doha.

Credited with rebuilding the team that performed abysmally at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroun under Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac, 47-year-old Otto has faith in the young team he built for the World Cup. Ghana had the youngest team at the World Cup with an average age of 24.7, while a number of players went into the competition with less than five appearances for the national team.

However, he wants the next Black Stars coach to be given the free hand and opportunity to build on the successes gained and develop the team even further based on the coach’s philosophy. He advised Ghanaians against having unrealistic expectations of overnight success.

“When a new coach comes, I’ll expect that he is given the chance to develop and to allow the team to grow. Sometimes, it takes losses to grow and the best sportsmen have learned to turn their failures into success stories.

“I have difficulties in putting pressure on young players. Everyone knows that we have a good team that, hopefully, if we continue developing would get better. But we should not expect anything today because development is a process and takes time,” he said.

To develop and achieve success, the coach said he would love to see significant improvement in the players’ individual mindset and a strong collective mentality, which were key ingredients for success by teams.

He believes that the lack of strong collective self-belief largely accounted for Ghana’s 0-2 loss to Uruguay in last Friday’s crucial group fixture, and the players allowed the first half penalty miss by Skipper Andre Ayew affect them during the first half, which the South Americans capitalised on to score two quick goals, leaving Ghana to crash out of the tournament as the bottom team in Group H.