Technical advisor for the Black Stars, Chris Hughton, has revealed his visit to Ghana prior to receiving an approach from the Ghana Football Association was only for a family visit and not to take up a coaching role.
Hughton was heavily linked with the head coach role following the dismissal of Milovan Rajevac after a poor performance at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
According to the former Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion manager, he already had a connection with the GFA due to his Ghanaian background.
“I do have a relationship with the association simply because of my background and I spoke to them while I was there. Would this have happened had I not taken that holiday? Very possibly. Ghana had a difficult AFCON (they finished bottom of their group) in January and wanted to improve quickly as they had a World Cup eliminator almost immediately. But the holiday certainly didn’t do me any harm,” he told Sportsmail.
“Three days before I arrived the Ghana coach lost his job,’ says Hughton. I was visiting family, just relaxing. But I must have been spotted and a lot of people, particularly in the local media, presumed I was there for the job. It kind of grew and grew.
“They were discussing it on the TV [about becoming the head coach]and next thing my grandchildren were sending me stuff they’d seen on social media and asking why I hadn’t told them. I was relaxed about it. I knew it wasn’t true. But then over a period of time that all changed.
The 63-year-old also revealed Ghanaians will be seeing him more on the pitch soon.
“I was involved against Nigeria but only really watched training. I will be more on the grass this time,” he added.
“Tactics and selection are one thing but there are other issues such as media work. I can help to take some of the pressure off with those things. I will be involved with the coach on tactics and the team we pick but he will have the final say.”
Ghana will take on Central Africa Republic in their second group game of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday, June 5.