Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Jonathan Mensah taking positives from Baffoe’s Ghana statement

8:46 PM WAT 17/01/2022
Iddrisu Baba Mohammed Kudus Jonathan Mensah Daniel Amartey Ghana
The defender has no ill feelings over the legend’s comments about the team, and assured that the Black Stars will bounce back

Jonathan Mensah has drawn positives from Anthony Baffoe’s comments about Ghana’s senior national team following their disappointing performances so far at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Black Stars crumbled 1-0 to Morocco in their first match before playing out a 1-1 draw versus Gabon in their last outing despite taking an early lead.

Pained by the team’s sloppy performances, Baffoe suggested that Milovan Rajevac’s men are playing without passion.

Asked on his take on the 56-year-old’s remarks ahead of Tuesday’s make or break encounter against Comoros in Garoua, Mensah sees that criticism as a tonic to spur his team to action.

“The opinion coming from Baffoe is welcome – coming from someone from that has played at the highest level and worn the national team shirt,” the Columbus Crew centre-back told the media.

“He also played with passion, so if he is voicing out his opinion to us, we will take it on a positive note and replicate that on the field.”

The four-time African kings are targeting a fifth African diadem, nevertheless, they must first negotiate their way past Amir Abdou's Coelacanths to stand a chance of qualifying for the Round of 16.

Mensah claims the West Africans have found themselves in this kind of situation in the past and will ensure qualification is guaranteed.

“The mood is camp is very good even though we know it’s a very crucial game for us. All we need to do is go out there, play hard and win for the nation," he continued.

“It has been like this for us. The first time he [Rajevac] was in charge of the team, I remember we lost 3-1 to Cote d’Ivoire in one of our group matches but we got to the final.

“All we just need to do is win this last game and progress to the next stage.

“We have a lot of debutants in the team plus a few experienced players. We know it’s going to be tough, so we are there to guide the young ones.”

Ghana, who are making their 23rd appearance at the African football showpiece, crashed out in the Round of 16 at Egypt 2019.

After a 1-1 draw versus Tunisia after extra time, they bowed 5-4 on penalties at the Ismailia Stadium.