Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah says the good replacements for the five absent key players in his squad to face Egypt on Tuesday is an indication that his policy of giving the chance to players on the periphery of the Black Stars is perfect for the country.
The Black Stars will be missing key central defenders Isaac Vorsah, John Boye and Jonathan Mensah as well as Kevin Prince Boateng through injuries while Harrison Afful and Richard Kissi Boateng are all suspended for the match in Kumasi.
Since taking over as the coach of the Black Stars earlier this year, Appiah has widened the scope of players called into the national team but he has been criticised in certain quarters for his decision.
With his entire backline decimated because of the injuries and suspensions, Appiah insists those he has called in as replacements are experienced at the highest level thanks to his policy of giving the chance to others.
“When I took over the team, I wanted to bring many players in so that in case of absences and illnesses, there would always be players available to play,” Appiah told the pre-match conference in Kumasi on Monday night.
“Now we have three players in our back four out now, so if other players had not been given the opportunity, it would have been difficult for me to have a team now.”
With players like Rashid Sumaila, Jerry Akaminko, Awal Mohammed, Baba Rahman and Daniel Opare all available for the Black Stars, Appiah says he is confident they will stand up to the challenge of facing the Egyptians.
“These players have been with the team; I know what they can do and I have total confidence in them and I believe that they would perform to the highest level,” the coach said.
Ghana are about as tough an opponent as they could have drawn; the Black Stars finished four points clear of the 2012 African Cup of Nations champions Zambia at the top of qualifying Group D.
Ghana are aiming for a third successive trip to football’s biggest event, and they were quarter-finalists at South Africa 2010.