Nigerian players strong, aggressive – Ghana coach

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We are not afraid of Nigeria – Togo coach
Ghana coach, David Duncan was listless after seeing his Black Stars team go down 1-2 to Nigeria in the semi final of the 2011 WAFU CUP tournament, Thursday. He spoke after the match.

What would you attribute to your loss to the Super Eagles?

Coach Duncan: It is not easy playing a home team, particularly in Africa. What would have been an easy game for the boys to exhibit their skills and abilities was made difficult by poor officiating. The officiating took shine off the match. But in the spirit of sportsmanship I congratulate the Eagles. They played very well.

Before the encounter you spoke of the match being like a derby. How do you see the rivalry between Liberia and Ghana?

The Nigeria/Ghana rivalry has been there before I was born and it will not end today. I remember the likes of Emmanuel Okala. Thankfully, it has been a friendly rivalry. We the players and coaches go through the tension for all of  you to enjoy. The match lived up to its billing.

During the match, you seem to be disagreeing with almost every decision taken by the referee. At a point you spoke into a camera. Why?

Different coaches have different ways of exhibiting their frustrations. I manage mine the best way I could.

On Saturday, Nigeria will be taking on Togo in the final. What do you expect from these two teams?
Well, I can’t talk much about Togo like I can about Nigeria. Nigeria is strong and aggressive. But Togo has done well also. The two teams are good. We expect to see a good match.

Before the match between Black Stars and the Super Eagles you spoke of Nigeria playing with the 12th player — the supporters. Do you think this had a role to play in your team’s defeat?

Like I said earlier, it is difficult to play away matches especially in Africa. For Nigeria, even when they play away, the structure of the supporters, their organisation is second to none in the football world. They drum, blow the trumpet and sing from the beginning to the end of the match. That is the 12th player and it works.

We are not afraid of Nigeria – Togo coach

Against the back
drop of a much anticipated Super Eagles triumph against the Hawks of Togo, Coach, Tchanile Tchakalala remains confident that his team can upturn the table against the much favoured Siasia led team.

“In football, we have two teams of 11 players each. They are the people that go to the pitch to do battle. We have surmounted all obstacles to get this far. Our target is the trophy. We are not afraid of any team. If we were, we would not be here. We are here because we want to win.”

Continuing, the soft-spoken coach said, “We respect Nigeria, a very strong team and they have the support of their people behind them. But we are not scared.” He said his players will replicate their performances against Ghana and Liberia when they clash with the Eagles.

He retorted, “Liberia played well, but the determination and attitude of my players won the day for us. We are going to apply that grit and determination against Nigeria on Saturday. We have resolved to settle with nothing short of the trophy.”


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