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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Atsu sets the ultimate target for Ghana in Cameroon

3:37 AM MYT 08/01/2022
Christian Atsu
The former international believes the Black Stars will overcome the squad's inexperience and win the trophy in Cameroon

Ghana attacker Christian Atsu believes the Black Stars must aim high for the trophy at the Africa Cup of Nations despite concerns about the team's relative lack of experience at top level.

Ghana are set to make another attempt for the continental title at the tournament which starts on Sunday and ends on February 6.

The Black Stars' 28-man squad named for the championship in Cameroon includes 17 players who have never been to the competition before.

"We have a very good team, we have to support the team, and we have to expect a lot from them,” Saudi Arabia-based Atsu, who was adjudged Best Player at Afcon 2015 in Equatorial Guinea but snubbed for Afcon 2021, told 3news.

“I heard someone saying we shouldn’t expect a lot from these players but what are they going to do in the tournament? They have to go and win."

Atsu was a member of Ghana's side at the last Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2019, his tournament ended early by injury.

At the championship, the Black Stars suffered a Round of 16 exit, the first time they failed to reach the quarter-final since 2006.

“We have a very strong team; people don’t realise it. We have young players but some people are complaining about their lack of experience," Atsu added.

“I am surprised people are still complaining about young players because for me, it doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, it is all about what you can do on the pitch.

“As a young player, when you are given the opportunity, you must do your best, otherwise you won’t get a second chance unless you are lucky."

In Group C, alongside Morocco, Gabon and Comoros, the Black Stars will open their campaign against the Atlas Lions on Monday, four days before taking on Gabon.

In their last match, Milovan Rajevac's outfit will lock horns with tournament debutants Comoros on January 18.

If the Black Stars go all the way it would be their fifth continental title with the last of their previous four successes coming in 1982 when the tournament was held in Libya.