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Africa U20 Cup of Nations

Cobblah's Ghana U-20 Afcon failure excuse gets backing

20:18 GMT 13/02/2019
African Youth Championship Senegal 2015
The ex-international shares his thoughts on the disappointing performance of the Black Satellites at the continental showpiece

Former Ghana U-17 coach Frimpong Manso sides with beleaguered current U-20 boss Jimmy Cobblah, who has attributed his team's poor performance at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Niger to bad preparations.

Cobblah has come under intense criticism for the abysmal showing of his side, who, having failed to go past the group stage, also missed an opportunity to play at the U-20 World Cup scheduled for Poland in May/June.

At the post-match conference of their final game, the former Inter Allies and Wa All Stars coach was quick to shelve the blame on challenges during their preparation for the tournament. Former Ghana striker Augustine Arhinful labelled the current team as the "worst ever".

"I will agree with the coach [Cobblah] in the sense that his preparations started during the Wafu [Cup in December] and upon realising at the tournament that some of the players were not fit, he had to invite new players," Manso explained to Asempa FM.

"With the arrival of the new set of players, he had to start new preparations. In a way, I will agree with him in the sense that he didn't get ample time to prepare the team.

"In football, if the results are not positive, you [the coach] are likely to be blamed.

"We cannot say this team is the worst U-20 team. Some coaches were not even able to qualify the team to the tournament in the past.

"We have to look at the individual qualities in the team and promote these players to the U-23 team. They shouldn't be neglected. We shouldn't condemn the players and the team."

Ghana, who were similarly eliminated in the first round of last year's regional Wafu Cup, opened their Afcon campaign in Niger on a bright note, beating Burkina Faso 2-0 courtesy of a Daniel Lomotey double.

The Black Satellites, however, suffered their first setback by a 2-0 loss to eventual group winners Senegal.

With a draw enough to see them through to the next round, they succumbed 1-0 to Mali in their last game, leaving them third on the group table.