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Every word from Otto Addo’s post match interview

Head coach Otto Addo spoke to us after our 2-1 loss to Nigeria in Friday’s international friendly in Morocco. Ghana scored late on after Nigeria had taken a 2-0 lead through Cyriel Dessers and Ademola Lookman at Grande de stade Marrakech. Playing with 10-men, the Black Stars were awarded a 95th minute penalty that was expertly converted by Jordan Ayew but it wasn’t enough to level matters as Nigeria held on to win the contest.

Speaking to ghanafa.org after the game, Otto Addo praised his players for their second half performance and also touched on Jerome Opoku’s red card, Abdul Salis’ performance and the quality of debutant Forson Amankwaa.

Read on for the full transcript:

Impressions about the game

I don’t like to look too much about the positives because we lost. But I think we were a bit unlucky the way we conceded the first goal as the ball hit the hand but like I said we were unlucky. First half they had the better chances but in the second half we really, really did well. If you want to come to the positive signs, the things we did in the second half with 10 men was good. We controlled them; we were a little bit unlucky with the finishing. I think what killed us was their second goal because we were close to actually equalize but in all, a draw would have been deserved but like I said we lost and we have to improve and move on.

On attitude of the team even with one man down

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Absolutely, the way Abdul Salis was running and how he controlled the game was really, really impressive. But all the others did well too. To hold them with ten-men in their half and pin them was a massive thing. We had good possessions; we helped and supported each other in the right timing, especially Abdul Salis, when they pressed us, he went into the right spots to get out of the pressure and from there also we created danger with Jordan, with Semenyo. The wing backs also in the second half were good, with Tariq (Lamptey) and Ebenezer (Annan) and it was really, really good. Ernest Nuamah you can’t take the ball from him, he was difficult to catch, at the end we could have created a little more if we were lucky and Antoine Semenyo scored the equalizer with the chance he had with the header, then maybe we get a point but in the end we lost.

On playing Ernest Nuamah as false Nine

In the first half we had a little bit of problems because I wanted him to play like a false nine to drop more into the midfield. But we couldn’t control the game the way we wanted. In our squad we have about 8 players who are here for the first time and on the pitch also we trained just four days together with the whole new squad because of injuries and for that I have to say they adapted well and they did well in adapting to the way I want them to play was good, really.

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On Jerome Opoku’s red card for dissent

I think there is a little bit of problem of language, especially with English players. Because for them it is normal to use certain words and they don’t mean it that way but if you get to another country and play international matches and the referees are not so good in English and just hear a special word then they think like O, he is saying something to him so it was unlucky but also Jerome has to learn out of this and I know it, like I said it’s a habit, you know those guys from London this is the way they speak but he has to change.

On Uganda

Yea, we have Uganda on Tuesday and the boys I think they played good but if they think it will be an easy game, then they are wrong. Uganda is very, very good. I watched them a little bit before now, I have to go deeper. They have really, really good players, we have to have a good plan if we want to win this game. I don’t see us as favorites; it will be an even game. We have to rest now, I have to think about how we play, and maybe we need some fresh legs. For me the most important thing is to get options and to get solutions for the upcoming games so these friendly matches are very, very important for us to know how they play and how they can adapt and take it to the World Cup qualifiers in June.

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On debutants, especially Forson Amankwaa

He was really, really good. I mean he is a young guy, very good positioning, very firm on the ball and solid on the ball. If he would be a little bit more self-conscious in certain situations he could have finished himself I think. But it’s really, really impressive for a young guy to step up against a strong Nigerian team and be so self-conscious with the ball, good positioning, also working hard defensively is really, really good. I think we have someone we can look up to in the coming years.

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