Newly signed Arsenal midfielder, Thomas Teye Partey, has challenged his Black Stars colleagues to play above average to win all their 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualification games.
That, he said, would endear them to the hearts of Ghanaian fans, many of whom had fallen out of love with the national team players.
“We have to do our best and make sure we win all our matches like we did previously against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe, and with this, we will win back the hearts of many Ghanaians,” Partey told ghanafa.org in an interview in Antalya, Turkey, ahead of Ghana's two international friendly matches against Mali on Friday and 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar three days later.
Partey, who switched camp from Atletico Madrid in the Spanish La Liga to play for Arsenal in the English Premier League, was hopeful about the quality of players in the Black Stars camp.
“We have a lot of quality players in the team. There are so many Ghanaian players out there who are good, but not all of us can be here. Fortunately, we are here because we won the heart of the coach. And I think it’s a good place to show what we have.”
Thomas Partey says the Black Stars players want to impress coach Akonnor (left)
“I feel good, I am so happy to be here again with the Black Stars. About the guys [teammates], I think they are doing well. Today, I can see everyone is trying to do their best, trying to win the heart of the new coach and I think it’s good, we have a great competition and I think it’s better for the Black Stars,” he explained.
Partey is excited about the opportunity to work with new Black Stars coach, Charles Kwablan Akonnor, and is hopeful wins against Mali and Qatar to set the team on the road to winning the remaining AFCON qualifiers.
“Today is not the first day of working with him (Akonnor); we have already played with him and I think he is doing all he can so that we will be comfortable and you know we won our last game and we will see what will happen against Mali and Qatar,” he gave an assurance.