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Last Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007, 18:20 GMT
LeRoy bemoans Appiah injury blow
By Farayi Mungazi
BBC Sport

Ghana coach Claude LeRoy
LeRoy is putting on a brave face after losing his talisman
Ghana coach Claude LeRoy insists his team's Nations Cup hopes have not been ruined by Stephen Appiah's injury blow.

The Frenchman's best-laid plans for the tournament have been thrown into disarray by his captain's absence.

Appiah was expected to spearhead the Black Stars' campaign as they chase a fifth Nations Cup title on home soil.

But the talismanic midfielder has been forced out of the tournament by a long-standing knee injury.

Appiah, who plays for Fenerbahce in Turkey, is now expected to be out of action for up to two months.

When contacted by BBC Sport, LeRoy put on a brave face while lamenting the loss of his most important player, a player widely regarded as the heart and soul of the team.

He said: "Even without Stephen we'll try to do our best to win the competition.

"That's why I want him to join us for our training camp and if possible to be with us during the tournament as well.

"We will use him as a special adviser because he can bring a lot to the team even without playing."

However, LeRoy conceded that a Black Stars team without Appiah is unlikely to have the likes of Morocco and Guinea tossing and turning in their beds.

"It's terrible news for all the Ghanaian people because it won't be the same team without him.

"It was difficult for me to sleep when I heard the news that he was out. It's a huge problem," LeRoy said.

Ghana's Appiah undergoes surgery
24 May 07 |  African
Appiah forced out of Nations Cup
28 Dec 07 |  African
Appiah back in training
11 Sep 07 |  African


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