Chris Hughton, the head coach of the Ghanaian national team, the Black Stars, has provided insights into his decision to exclude local players from recent call-ups since assuming his role.
Despite attending matches in the Ghana Premier League, Hughton has not included any local players in the two squads he has announced for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. This has raised questions, particularly in light of the absence of key players due to injuries.
In a video posted on BKB TV’s YouTube channel, Hughton addressed this issue and emphasized the importance of maintaining a balanced and consistent approach within the current squad. However, he also expressed his willingness to consider local players in the future.
During his time in Ghana, Hughton has made efforts to observe most of the teams and gain a comprehensive understanding of the level of the league and standout players. He believes it is crucial to assess the overall picture rather than solely focusing on individual players.
“In the period of time I’ve been around, I’ve seen most of the teams. Probably at this stage, it’s about getting a feel for the league,” explained Hughton. “The level of the league, the better players. Trying to get the whole picture as opposed to just some individuals. In this process when we come up with the individual players, the balance is always what I have.”
Hughton acknowledged that finding the right balance is currently a priority, taking into account the consistency of the squad and the presence of many players based in Europe, some of whom have not been playing regularly. He aims to strike the right balance while considering all the factors at play.
“At this moment, we’re trying to find the right balance of keeping the consistency of what we’ve had. We, of course, have a lot of players playing in Europe, and there are also a lot of players in Europe who haven’t played. So, it’s just for me to try and get this balance,” stated Hughton.
The upcoming match against Madagascar on June 18, 2023, holds great significance for the Black Stars as they strive to secure qualification for the next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled to take place in Cote d’Ivoire next year. The team’s performance in this crucial match will undoubtedly be closely watched by fans and stakeholders.