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Ghana Coach Confident Despite Mounting Injuries   
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Ghana coach manager Milovan Rajevac insists they are concentrating on challenging for the African Cup of Nations title even in the face of an injury-ravaged squad.

The Serbian got a slight boost on Wednesday night after Chelsea confirmed that Michael Essien will be available before the start of the tournament on 10 January.

The injury to midfielder Anthony Annan is not as serious as initially feared as he will be available for the Black Stars opening game on 11 January against Burkina Faso. However, the news from the Black Stars camp in South Africa is not all positive as the treatment room is also crammed to the rafters.

John Paintsil, Stephen Appiah and Laryea Kingston have all been ruled out of the tournament because of injuries. Doctors of English side Sunderland have also confirmed that John Mensah could be out for between three to four weeks, which could rule him out too.

Although he admits the injury-list shows little sign of easing in the short-term, Rajevac insists he will not panic. He said: "We have twenty three players that we believe in so we will try to prepare them for the competition.

"The problem of injuries is behind us. We want to concentrate on players we have here and prepare them as good as it is possible. "We strongly believe in the quality of these players so we will go there hoping to have the best results."

The Ghana Football Association is also exuding the same level of confidence in the wake of the injuries threatening to disrupt Ghana's campaign in Angola "I am a perennial optimist. I dont pay attention to the dark side of life," GFA vice president Fred Pappoe said.

"Injuries have come; injuries will come so we cant brood over it. I am not looking at the players injured i am looking at those here." Ghana opted not to take more than 23 players to its training camp in South Africa because there were ugly scenes after some players were dropped before the previous tournament in 2008.

Players like Matthew Amoah and Francis Dickoh threatened to quit the national team after they were excluded from the final 23. A similar thing occured before the 2006 World Cup when Baba Armando, Baffour Gyan and others were dropped from the final squad which led to some chaos.

To avert that situation Ghana has resolved to keep to the number of players required for a tournament. Ghana will play Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso in Group B.

Source: ghanasoccernet

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