There were a number of questions answered by coach Evans Augustine Adotey and captain Baba Abdulai Musah ahead of our CAF Champions League showdown against Young Africans of Tanzania at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Miburani ward of Temeke District on Wednesday December 20, 2023.
The gaffer touched on the team’s arrival in Dar es Salam, preparations, psychology and approach and as well as inability to train on Monday.
Captain Baba Abdulai Musah also touched on expectations, noisy atmosphere and pressure on the team to deliver success.
Read on for the full transcript.
On team’s arrival
Having come all the way from Ghana to Dar es Salam, safe arrival in Tanzania’s capital. Good hospitality except one thing. Yesterday (Monday) we planned to train on a good field but we were denied access to the venue. Even today which is for mandatory training, I’m told there is no place for us to train at the moment. The game is happening tomorrow and so I don’t know what will happen after here (the press conference). I am yet to know where my team will train or prepare finally for the match.
Back to the game and Medeama has four points out of nine points from three games; is not convincing to me as a coach of the side. On the other hand, Yanga also two points behind me. From three games speaks of how Yanga is determined to match us tomorrow. I need to be cautious; I need to map out a strategy that will help Medeama to stay out of defeat. That is all that I want to tell the media.
Psychology and Approach
Psychologically, we’re prepared because like I said earlier, I need to be cautious. A win or a draw tomorrow, will see my team marching forward. A defeat will bring the morale of my team down. Four out of nine points, I need a win or a draw to keep going because the next game against Al Ahly is also a very difficult task. My boys are psyched and we’re ready for the battle tomorrow. The field will decide tomorrow at the end of the day.
Regarding the approach, I am going into this game with one and two game plans. If plan A is working, I will keep going forward. If the plan A is not working, quickly I have to shift to plan B. And I have all these plans under my sleeves
Hospitality and confidence within group
I have the confidence, why not? I don’t mind even if I am intimidated or frustrated, my focus and my mission is to ensure that I go back home to Ghana with a good result. A draw is okay for me; a win is okay for me. Defeat is what I need to be cautious about!
Overcoming the challenges
It’s not too late. Like I said earlier, an arrangement was made for me to train yesterday (Monday). We got there Wydad were training and our time was rescheduled. After that we were ready to move to the field and then a local team interrupted that the field belongs to them. There was no room for us to train.
We were held in hostage until the next 45 minutes where we were told to go and come back at 10pm. It looked frustrating. I was intimidated but all the same we’ve brushed this off and looking at today. Today, am told there is no way we can train at the main stadium. I am waiting for an opportunity to train somewhere! After that I will get my boys back on track.
Advice to organisers – CAF
I am not looking at this situation. The focus is mainly on the match against Yanga tomorrow. I hope by close of today, I will have a place to train. Because after traveling, we haven’t trained the whole day. It looks something intimidating if we are unable to train today too. I have brushed it off and focused on ensuring we get back in there and get the needed result.
Baba Abdulai Musah (Captain)
We came here well prepared and like my coach said, very determined. We’re here to play good game and get good result back home. The strategy or the tactics we’re going to use, I can’t disclose that here! But at the end of the day, we have to get a good result back home.
This is not first time playing under crowd or a huge crowd like this. We’ve playing under crowds in Ghana for couple of years so this is nothing new to us. We just have to know what to do on the field of play and I’m not sure the fans are not the people to decide. The 11 men on the field will decide the outcome of the match, so surely the fans are not going to make anything difficult for us. We are going to work, like we always do to get the maximum points.
Yesterday, I don’t know what happened but we were not able to train. And as a player, you have to give off your best at the training ground before it can reflect in the game. So not being able to train yesterday was a bit worrying but that was yesterday! It’s past and gone! We have today and we’re hoping to get ourselves train and it will reflect in our game tomorrow.