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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Ghana to work on three-back system – assistant coach Tanko

21:30 GMT+3 13/10/2018
Japan v Ghana
Exclusive: The deputy coach has revealed the Black Stars' plans to try playing with three-flat centre-backs

Ghana assistant coach says the Black Stars could soon be deploying a three-back system in their bid to have more options in tactics.

The four-time African champions, like most teams, use the traditional system of four flat defenders consisting of two centre-backs and two full-backs. 

The three-back option, which has gained popularity in recent years, though, deploys three-flat centre-backs, with the ‘full-backs’ operating slightly higher up as “wing-backs”.

“Kasim [Adams] and [Daniel] Amartey sometimes play in that system at [English side] Leicester City and [German club] Hoffenheim [respectively],” Tanko told Goal .

“The three-back system is a system you would always want to have as an option.

“Even Baba Rahman’s team [German outfit Schalke 04] play the three-back where he plays as the left-wing-back. Lumor Agbenyenu’s clubs [Sporting Lisbon of Portugal] happen to also play that system.

“It’s one of those systems that you need to have in mind, even in a game situation where you need more midfielders, you can sacrifice one defender. It’s a good thing.

“We’re going to work on that so that when it comes that we have to use it, it won’t be a problem.

“All our defenders already have experience with that so it’s going to be one of our options.”

During May’s friendly against Japan, the Black Stars briefly played a three-back system following the substitution of injured Rashid Sumaila.

Appiah’s side, who saw this month’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nation’s qualifying double-header against Sierra Leone cancelled, return to action in November against Ethiopia.