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Let’s be patient with Chris Hughton – Sports Minister

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, has thrown his weight behind Black Stars coach Chris Hughton, calling on Ghanaians to be patient with him and his technical team.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, has thrown his weight behind Black Stars coach Chris Hughton, calling on Ghanaians to be patient with him and his technical team.

“It is not easy to manage a national team,” Ussif said in an interview with JoySports.

Chris, 64, a former Norwich City, Newcastle United, and Brighton manager who was appointed in March 2023 by the Ghana Football Association (GFA), has been censured by people within the football family.

Ameenu Shardow, in an interview in July, said, “We would have been better if Otto Addo stayed as Black Stars coach. I have always said that Otto Addo made mistakes at the World Cup because he hadn’t been there before,” he told 3 FM.

“Otto Addo is someone who learns on the job, and Ghana would have been better if he had continued with his job as Black Stars head coach.”

According to Executive Council member Dr. Randy Abbey, there must be an improvement as soon as possible because the FA is not happy.

“We are not too happy. We think there has to be a lot of improvement which needs to be made. We also don’t have all the time in the world, so we need to be fast about it,” he told Takoradi-based Spice FM.

“We think there’s a lot of work to be done because we had a lot of expectations for Hughton and his team of Dramani and Boateng. Based on the fact they’ve been around the team for a long while, they could hit the ground running.”

However, Sports Minister Ussif wants the leadership of the FA and Ghanaians to be patient.

“There is a difference between national team management and club management, but I am confident in what Chris brings as a coach.

“I believe Chris Hughton is a very experienced coach, and I have total confidence that his experience will come to bear at the appropriate time.”

Hughton, until his appointment, served as Technical Advisor to the Black Stars technical team, which was headed by Otto Addo prior to and during the FA World Cup in Qatar.

He was appointed to that role because of his experience, having managed many clubs in the English Premier League. But Ussif says the national team presents a different challenge to the Ireland star.

“Chris has worked so hard throughout his career, and he knows the challenges that he is facing as head coach of a national team. As I said, it is not easy to manage a national team because there is a difference between managing a national team and that a club,” he noted.

“The expectations are not the same. The whole country looks up to you. They expect results from you, but I think we should be patient and give Chris the opportunity, space, or time to establish himself on the national team. We will see the results when he finally settles [on what he wants to do with the team].

“I have a strong belief that the current technical team is very good, and they need the opportunity and time to deliver for Mother Ghana,” he stated.

Chris Hughton has played three games, won one, and drawn two since his appointment early this year. He needs a draw against the Central African Republic in the final AFCON 2023 qualifier to qualify the Black Stars for the next AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire.

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