Congo v Ghana: Under-fire Grant targets friendly success

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Having come in for criticism in some quarters, Avram Grant will hope his Ghana side can ease any pressure when they face Congo this week.

Ghana take on Congo in Brazzaville on Tuesday with the Black Stars hoping victory can ease unhappiness in certain quarters over Avram Grant's coaching of the national side.

The Israeli coach has come in for criticism for failing to use home-grown players and often being absent from Ghana.

While Grant has defended himself by stating his need to scout abroad in order to ensure a greater quality within the national set-up, a victory over Congo ahead of Thursday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Rwanda would help smooth over any disillusionment.

Having opened their qualification bid with a 7-1 hammering of Mauritius, Grant has called up in-form Swansea City winger Andre Ayew although Juventus' Kwadwo Asamoah remains ruled out with a knee injury.

Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (knock) and Godfred Donsah (shoulder) are also ruled out due to injury.

And the former Chelsea boss is eager to keep the results coming, reiterating that his players will be called up based on standard rather than the league they play in.

"It's good that Ghanaians want me to be here. It's very nice to hear that," Grant told the Ghana FA website.

"But I need to do my job and my job is to do the best for the Black Stars. You know more than 90 per cent of the players, when there are opportunities they go to play abroad, so they are playing abroad and I need to monitor them before we have official games and that's what I did.

"For me there is no local or foreign player; my doors are opened to all. All of them are Ghanaian players who need to give everything for their country.

"I did one week vacation and I monitored players after that. During this time, I was at the draw for the World Cup with the Ghana FA.

"I worked very hard to monitor the players as we did before the African Cup and before Mauritius."

Tuesday's hosts are also back in AFCON action later in the week with a trip to face Guinea-Bissau.

Claude Le Roy's men got their Group E campaign up and running with a 1-1 draw against Kenya in June and face Ghana for the first time since losing 1-0 in the Africa Nations Championship quarter-final last year.