New Black Stars Head Coach Milovan Rajevac has rejected claims that he ditched Ghana after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a period the country’s football officials tried in vain to convince him to stay.
Coach Rajevac, who was first appointed in 2008 on a two-year contract left the job in September 2010 after overseeing Ghana’s quarter final placing at the South African World Cup ruined by a Luis Suarez deliberate handball and Asamoah Gyan’s penalty miss.
Addressing the media at his unveiling last week, the Serbian trainer referred to as Milo stated categorically that he did not run away from Ghana but served his contract to the latter.
“Let’s not dwell so much on the past. I believe we should look at what is ahead of us and tackle it successfully. I did not run away from Ghana; my contract actually ended. I served the full term.”
Milo, who many thought deserted Ghana to sign for a more lucrative deal somewhere, told the media that he worked for a month without a contract with good intention to extend the contract at the time but things did not go as planned.
He indicated that he had the desire to continue working for Ghana after the World Cup because the leadership of the GFA showed good faith but personal issues influenced the decision to leave.
The coach also dismissed claims that he sets his teams up defensively; the reason why the team scored fewer goals to earn the ‘One Goal Project’ accolade.
According to Milo, the ‘One Goal Project’ mantra was the work of the Ghanaian media and not a strategy he adopted for the Black Stars.
“I never instructed my players to go on the field and score one goal and defend. They have to score as many as they could but if they fail to score again is no indication that is a strategy.”
“I have stated in the past that I prefer five wins with a 1-0 margin than winning just a match 5-0 and lose the rest. Winning is what matters to me but the margin is not so important.”
“Of course I would like my team to score as many goals as possible that is if the chances are there. What happened in the past was due to circumstances.”
He revealed that playing at the highest level, one needs to be very cautious and smart, so at the end it is important for you to win to get points or move to the next stage depending on which competition you are involved in.
But going forward, the returnee Serbian trainer called for support and collaboration from Ghanaians, especially the media in achieving the 2022 Qatar World Cup dream.
He said the Black Stars feat in 2010 was achieved at a period when the nation was solidly united behind the team, adding that, “this is the exact situation and unity I want to see from the nation.”
“Let’s work to bring back that spirit again, putting all our resources to it and make sure we achieved that which we set out to achieve.”
“Ghana is like my second home.I had a great experience here. Qualifying for the World Cup and being there with Ghana was great. When you get the chance to work with the people you know and understand you very well, you would surely take up the opportunity,” he quizzed.
“I know how Ghanaians like their football and the passionfor the game. It is not the same atother places I have been. This is an experience many would like to repeat when the opportunity comes,” he said.
“I want to assure Ghanaians that I am up to the task and ready for the challenge. I am very motivated for the job and can’t wait to start work with the players.”
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY