‘Stars won’t panic against Kenya’ despite injuries
Injuries have forced Coach Kwasi Appiah to make changes to his defensive strategies to Black Stars' preparation to face Kenya in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Nairobi on Saturday
Kassim Nuhu and John Boye both got injured while on club duty over the weekend. While Nuhu sustained an injury during Bundesliga action for Hoffenheim against Freiburg last Saturday, Boye had a muscle injury during Metz's game also on Saturday.
Though it certainly is a disappointment for Coach Appiah, he believes they will still marshall a strong defence to face the Harambee Stars and that his team will not panic against the desperate Kenyans
“It's unfortunate that Nuhu and Boye won't be able to travel with us to Kenya. They are both experienced players, but they are injured and there is nothing we can do about it. We have to re-strategise our plan, especially with regard to our defence. I can confidently say that we are not panicking at all because of these late injuries," Coach Appiah told the Graphic Sports.
The Stars, hoping to continue from where they left off in their 5-0 win against Ethiopia in the opening game of the qualifiers, can go into the game confident, as most of the players called up, had good results in their club duties.
The team showed better cohesion in their last two friendlies against Japan which they won 2-0 and then came from behind to draw 2-2 with Iceland.
Coach Appiah, has indicated that there will be very little changes to their game plan though they will keep an eye on their rear in order not to concede.
"We are aware that Kenya, without a point in this campaign, would be out to frustrate us and possibly pick their first point, but we are determined to just continue from where we left off in the opening game. We are not going to take chances," Appiah told the Graphic Sports.
Having Rashid Sumaila as a late replacement for Nuhu, Appiah can also be confident of his team as his players rounded up their weekend duty for their clubs on a good note.
Kwadwo Asamoah passed a late fitness test and helped Inter Milan to their first victory this season, a 3-0 victory against Bologna last Saturday. His return must bolster the Stars midfield.
Raphael Dwamena, who is fast settling into his role as a striker, was also on duty for Levante who drew 2-2 with Valencia.
However, the person whose form could excite Coach Appiah most is William Owusu, who snatched a late equaliser for Royal Antwerp in their 1-1 draw at Anderlecht yesterday in the Belgian top-flight.
Owusu earned a debut call-up in Appiah’s 21-man squad initially named for the Kenya game.