Ghana: Playing Hearts Is Always Difficult - Konadu

28 January 2020

Kumasi Asante Kotoko Head Coach, Maxwell Konadu has disclosed that their 2-1 win against arch-rivals Hearts of Oak on Sunday was down to the fighting spirit displayed by his boys .

"You can say that luck played a part but you cannot dismiss the fighting spirit exhibited by my boys, especially in the second half. We were competitive for 90 minutes and that did the trick for us ", Konadu said responding to a question about the key to his side's success at the post-match.

He described the game as a difficult one, given that his rivals were bent on delivering victory to their fans to give them something to cheer about after a marathon of disappointing results against his side.

Coach Konadu said wary of this notion, they were motivated to maintain their dominance over their rivals and therefore pushed the boys in training to the point of extreme exhaustion and endurance.

Konadu however asserted that there were frailties in the defensive set-up that needs to be worked on.

"We need to work more especially on the defence, I don't think our defence is the best in the league and so we'll keep working in that area to improve. "

He said the early loss of midfielder Madasiru Salifu disorganised Kotoko initially since he was a big part of their tactical plan but was full of praise for his boys for holding the fort despite his absence.

Konadu also heaped praise on young discovery Matthew Cudjoe who he described as a gem.

"His impact was great when he came on , but the idea is not to rush him , his body parts are still developing and therefore we need to protect him , there's no doubt he is a huge talent who has a lot to offer".

On the contractual issues encircling key components of his side, goal scorer Justice Blay and absentee striker Sogne Yacouba he said he hoped deals could be reached and both players kept.

"Justice is a fine player who is very important to us and our cause for the season; we are back on the negotiations table with Medeama and hope a long-term agreement can be reached.

"As for Yacouba I dropped him for the game because I didn't think he was mentally prepared and ready for the game with his ongoing contract dispute, nonetheless he is an important player to our cause and hope the ongoing impasse is resolved soon "he said.

On his part, Hearts of Oak Head Coach, Edward Nii Odoom expressed disappointment at their loss but was elated at the improvements he saw in their play.

" I'm happy with the performance of my boys, it is unfortunate with the support we enjoyed we were unable to deliver the victory, however I strongly believe the fans believe in this team and won't lose hope in what they can be able to achieve".

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