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Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic pledges African crown

By Michael oti Adjei
BBC Sport, Accra

Goran Stevanovic
Goran Stevanovic says he can win Ghana's first major title since 1982

New coach Goran Stevanovic pledged to deliver Ghana's first Nations Cup trophy since 1982 as he was formally unveiled in Accra.

The Serb, 44, says he has what it takes to make the Black Stars champions and "shine brighter than ever".

The former Partizan Belgrade boss signed a two-year renewable deal on Monday with a mandate to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations.

He has also been tasked with winning Ghana's first major trophy in 30 years.

Stevanovic will, in theory, have two chances to win a Nations Cup title since his two-year deal will cover both the 2012 and 2013 Nations Cup finals.

I will speak with key players and I am sure they agree with me that we are going to be champions

Goran Stevanovic

"It is big pressure but it is normal," he told BBC Sport after his formal introduction.

"The national team of Ghana has been doing well. I know what is expected of me in future and I am prepared for that.

"I profoundly believe because if I didn't have this motivation, it would have been better not to come here.

"Ghana reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup, and the finals of the last African Cup, and a repeat of what has already been done is not enough.

"I am motivated, I will speak with key players and I am sure they agree with me that we are going to be champions."

Stevanovic has already planned talks with some of Ghana's key players but also intends to set up meetings with two individuals who have recently been on the fringes of the side.

One of his top priorities is to get Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien back in the team, after the star's decision to sit out recent matches.

And Stevanovic, who guided Partizan Belgrade to the 2010 league title, also plans talks with Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari after his recent troubles with the Black Stars.

The Serb's first game in charge will be an international friendly on 9 February against a yet-to-be-named opponent before taking the side to Congo for a 2012 Nations Cup qualifier on 27 March.

Two days later, Stevanovic will then step out at Wembley as the Black Stars face England in a friendly international - the first-ever meeting between the sides.

The Serb met the Ghanaian media for the first time on Wednesday after beating Tunisia's Humberto Coelho and local man Herbert Addo in the race to replace World Cup coach Milovan Rajevac.

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see also
Stevanovic appointed Ghana coach
10 Jan 11 |  African
Desailly wants Black Stars job
16 Sep 10 |  African
Ghana to start hunt for new coach
12 Sep 10 |  African
Ravejac gets Black Stars deadline
06 Sep 10 |  African

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