Ghana star Andre Ayew claimed that the Black Stars “are not here to win the trophy” ahead of their opening CAF Africa Cup of Nations game against Senegal on Monday.
Ghana have been continental champions four times, but not since 1982, although they have reached at least the semi-finals in each of the last four tournaments.
“We have lots of young players and I wouldn’t say we are here to win the trophy. We’ll go one game at a time,” Ayew told media gathered in Mongomo. “In 2010 we got to the final not long after winning the FIFA U-20 World Cup, we went into the tournament full of confidence.”
This time, Ghana are something of an unknown quantity, with Avram Grant only recently taking charge of a side who endured a disappointing FIFA World Cup™ campaign, a draw with eventual winners Germany aside. Their campaign was also overshadowed by the decision to send home both Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng for indiscipline.
“We did some good things on the pitch and caused problems for the eventual world champions. Of course there were things that happened off the field, but that is behind us now. We have come through the qualifiers since then and I congratulate all the players for the way they have applied themselves.
“The situation is different to when we were in Brazil. We have changed coach several times in the last six months, but we are all professionals and we need to be able to adapt to the situation,” added the Marseille winger.
Of Grant, the former Chelsea manager, Ayew said: “Today we have a great coach who has worked at big clubs and has lots of experience, so I am happy because he can bring us a lot.”
However, Ayew knows Ghana could find life tough in Group C, in which they will also come up against dark horses Senegal and a resurgent South Africa.