Expect quality Nations Cup final, says Grant

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Ghana coach Avram Grant predicted a quality African Nations Cup final on Sunday when his side take on neighbours Ivory Coast in one of the continent’s age-old rivalries.

“We have seen quality players and quality football through this tournament but we can expect even more. There are a lot of good players in both line-ups and I think because of that we can expect a quality final,” Grant told reporters on Saturday.

Grant said his team had been given little chance before the tournament but improved dramatically over the three weeks of competition.

“We’ve shown a lot of motivation up to now and we’ll show a lot in the final,” he said. “There won’t be any need for speeches. If there is even one player who is not hugely motivated for this final, then we have a problem.”

The former Chelsea manager took over Ghana only one month before the tournament in Equatorial Guinea but was clearly relishing a chance to contest another trophy after a string of losses during his tenure in England.

He was beaten in both the 2008 Champions League and League Cup finals during a brief spell in charge of Chelsea and in the 2010 FA Cup final when with Portsmouth.

Grant was questioned about the possibility of a penalty shootout deciding the Nations Cup and his own bitter experience with Chelsea after losing to Manchester United in Moscow in 2008.

“Obviously we have to prepare for all situations in a final, including penalties,” Grant said. “But to prepare for penalties in training is not the same, you don’t have the pressure of the crowd. It is all about psychology at the time but hopefully the game will be decided before we need to get there.”

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