Former Black Stars right-back John Paintsil has expressed confidence in coach Charles Akonnor to find a replacement for midfielder Thomas Partey who is set to miss Ghana’s game against Sudan due to a thigh injury.
In an exclusive interview with www.ghanaweb.com, Paintsil said that the absence of the influential midfielder is a huge blow to Akonnor and the team as Partey is currently a key figure in the team.
He noted that while news of his absence is disturbing, he trusts Akonnor to either find a replacement or map out a strategy that will help the Black Stars beat Sudan on Thursday.
“I think it’s a big blow to all of us and the team. He has an important player and has been the engine of the team so he missing this game is a big blow. There will be losing balance in the team because he has been playing all the matches and he is a key player for Akonnor”.
“I think Akonnor will use his experience to turn things around. That’s why he wants to try a lot of players and this is where we are going to know who’ll replace him. I think we’ll definitely have someone who will replace him and play the same way as Partey. His absence is definitely going to affect the team but I believe that we have a coach who will turn things around”, he told GhanaWeb.
The 27-year-old is likely to miss the qualifier after picking up an injury in Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday.
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta had said that the midfielder will undergo test today to determine the extent of the injury but reports from credible sources in England indicate that Partey will not be allowed to travel to Ghana.
Instead, he will stay at Arsenal and undergo treatment.
Akonnor has already made provisions by inviting seven new players to the team’s camp.
The seven include Afriyie Acquah, Majeed Ashimeru and Christopher Nettey of Kotoko.
The team held their first training session yesterday at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
Ten players reportedly train for the match which will be played behind closed doors due to covid-19 protocols.