Ghana coach scoffs at doubts over loyalty

BELGRADE - Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac has said he will not do his Serbian compatriots any favours when the teams meet in next year's World Cup Group D opener.

BELGRADE - Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac has said he will not do his Serbian compatriots any favours when the teams meet in next year's World Cup Group D opener.

Serbia play Ghana in Pretoria on June 13 and the outcome could be vital in the scrap for a top-two finish in a tight group including 2006 semifinalists Germany and Australia.

"Some media in Ghana suggested that I may not be fully committed to beating Serbia when we clash," Rajevac said yesterday.

"That is complete nonsense, I can understand their passion but they should think again because I am not going there to give away matches, we want to at least emulate the 2006 success when Ghana reached the last 16 under fellow Serb Ratomir Dujkovic.

"Of course I wish Serbia all the best and I will be a very happy man if both teams go through to the knockout rounds and reach the final, which is also theoretically possible.

"It is going to be tough for both teams to get past the group stage though, because Germany are the favourites while Australia are no pushovers either."

Ghana will use next month's African Nations Cup in Angola as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup and Rajevac said he would experiment by using some of the players who won October's under-20 World Cup in Egypt. "It will be a blend of youth and experience.

The top two teams from World Cup Group D cross paths with those who advance from Group C, where England are favourites to finish ahead of the United States, Slovenia and Algeria.

Rajevac is sure Ghana can beat England if the teams meet in the knockout stage and said their 4-0 group stage win over England in the Under-20 Cup could be significant. - Reuters

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