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Ghana Coach Plays Down Essien's Concerns   
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Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac has played down concerns by Michael Essien that the absence of Sulley Muntari will negatively affect the Black Stars at the African Cup of Nations.

The Inter Milan midfielder was axed from next month's tournament in Angola on the grounds of discipline which prompted some reaction from Essien.

The Chelsea midfielder was concerned that the absence of Muntari, who is also Essien's personal friend, will affect the depth of the Black Stars in the continental tournament.

But the Serbian manager has brushed aside those concerns insisting that players must be committed to the national cause. "I don’t intend making a big issue out of it. We have a team called up and a job to do which we must all be committed to,” Rajavec said.

“Of course, they [Essien and Muntari] have a wonderful relationship. They have been playing for a long time and share between them good things. "I would want to understand that it’s only natural for such a reaction from him [Essien].

“The public display of disagreement will not also affect the relationship between Essien and his colleagues neither would it affect his football on the field,” Rajevac insists.

“Michael [Essien] is great player and he has a huge impact in any team he plays for. He brings confidence to the team and his colleagues know they can always count on him.

“He is such a wonderful professional who shows 100% commitment anytime he gets onto the field. He has played in matches against Mali and Sudan without some players and still put in very good performances.

“No one can doubt Essien’s commitment to Ghana. He sometimes plays through pain and that tells you the sort of player we have and can count on. “I know he is a professional and he would do a professional job for Ghana. It [His concerns] wouldn’t be an issue. There is no dismay about it."

There have been concerns about the growing indiscipline in the Black Stars squad after three players including Muntari were fined for absenting themselves from national duty. Ghana will face Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo in Group B of the tournament in Angola.

Source: ghanasoccernet

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