Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan says he is putting finishing touches on his fitness ahead of the Black Stars’ Africa Cup of Nations Group D opener against Uganda in Port-Gentil on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old, who will be making his seventh consecutive appearance at the tournament since 2006, admits struggles with injuries ahead of his previous Afcon campaigns but feels good this time around.
“I just recovered from injury. The quality is there already with the ball work but I need to work on my conditioning for my resistance so that I can fit into a game for 90 minutes. That is the only thing I need that is why I am spending a lot of time with the physical trainer,” Gyan told TV3.
“I have had so many experiences with the Nations Cup. I have never gone to one in top physical shape. The only time I was not injured, I got sick two years ago. This time I feel good and I can’t wait for the first game to start,” he added.
Gyan also believes that Ghana, who are yet to lift the trophy since 1982, can replicate Cote d’Ivoire’s record.
The Elephants lost 2008 and 2012 Afcon finals to Egypt and Zambia respectively, before winning the trophy on the third time of asking in 2015.
“I always use Ivory Coast as an example. They lost two finals and then won the third one against Ghana on penalties. We can do that too. We have quality players and our attitude is what will determine. It is very easy to say you can win the trophy but you must show it on the pitch. To win a trophy everyone must get involved. We need to be strong, have depth and hope that we stay injury free.”
The former Sunderland striker has scored seven Afcon goals and is a goal shy of equalling Osei Kofi and Wilberforce Mfum’s record of eighth apiece, but he insists he is not eyeing personal glory ahead of the team’s success.
“I try to do my best for the team to win, not break records. I leave the rest for people to judge. I just try to get the job done. I will try and go there and do my best for Ghana and make sure we bring it home.”