Stephen Appiah claims England are 'underrating' Ghana by letting five first team players leave squad

Former Black Stars captain feels Ghana fans will be disappointed not to see full strength England side but Asamoah Gyan and John Mensah warn that it won't be easy
Fabio Capello’s decision to release players from the England squad to face Ghana at Wembley on Tuesday has been labelled “disprespectful” by former Black Stars captain Stephen Appiah.

After England’s 2-0 victory over Wales John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Michael Dawson were all sent back to their clubs so they had time to recover before the domestic season resumes at the weekend, while Aston Villa right-back Kyle Walker and Tottenham winger Aaron have been allowed to leave to nurse injuries.

And Appiah believes that decision shows England are not taking the game against the World Cup quarter-finalists seriously.

"It's like they are underrating the game,” Appiah told BBC Sport.

"A lot of Ghanaians have travelled from America, Canada, from around the world. It's a dream come true. It's huge, it's big and Ghanaians are going to follow the match."

It will be Ghana’s first appearance against England and they will be backed by 21,000 supporters inside the stadium, and Appiah revealed that the fans and the players will be disappointed not to be taking the best players England have to offer.

"Ghanaians are disappointed,” he said.

“They really wanted to see those players. The players wish they could play against JT [Terry].

"It's their dream to play against Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and all these players. Maybe some of them will not play in that stadium again.

"Maybe Mr Capello has his own reasons, we have to respect those."

Likewise disappointed not to be facing England's top stars are Sunderland duo Asamoah Gyan and John Mensah, although both believe that Capello's second string will prove to be tough opponents.

Gyan told reporters: "I might be disappointed but it's one of those things. Maybe the fans are disappointed as we have never played against England.

"They have paid a lot of money. They came to see Rooney and the big players. But England are still strong. They've never lost to an African team."

Captain Mensah, meanwhile, believes it would be wrong to downplay the quality of the players being brought in to fill the gap of the five first team starters.

"It would be nice to see the big names but I don't think those who are playing are not good," he said.

"We all know Rooney. But anyone who wears the jersey is a capable player."

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