Chris Hughton defends decision to include Andre Ayew in Black Stars squad for Central African Republic AFCON qualifier

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Head Coach of the Black Stars Chris Hughton has defended his decision to include skipper Andre Ayew in his team for the final Group E game of the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Andre Ayew has been without a club since June this year. In spite of that, he was invited by Chris Hughton for the crucial AFCON qualifier against against Central African Republic, a decision which has attracted backlash.

In an interview with Accra-based Asaase radio, Chris Hughton defended his decision, stating that: “Growing conception? It’s not something that means too much to me from my point of view as head coach. It’s about the squad that I want and the reasons for each player to be in the squad. So what is a perception outside? I don’t know. You know, and this is not my concern.

“What I have to do is I have to pick a squad. And that squad can be made up of young, exciting players. They can be made up of perhaps more experienced players. There will always be in the general public, there will always be a lot of debate about who should be in the squad, who shouldn’t. And there are players. And Andre comes into a category.”

“We know that he hasn’t played as much, so we’re knowledgeable about the amount of games that he’s played. But I also know what he means by the squad. He’s a captain. I know what he gives the squad as regards. And anybody in the squad, it’s never just about their abilities. It’s about what they bring to the squad. Some have experience, some know how they can affect the other players. So for every player that’s in the squad, there is a reason.”

Chris Hughton and his team are looking to dump the criticism and secure a place at the AFCON to be played in Ivory Coast in January and February next year.

The Black Stars need just a draw in the game to be played on Thursday, September 7 to secure a place at the prestigious continental showpiece event.

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