Olympics clash another chance to win 3 points -Hearts Coach Papic

Accra Hearts of Oak coach, Kosta Papic, has declared that Saturday’s derby with city rivals, Accra Great Olympics represents another chance to amass three more points to their tally as he aims at winning the season’s title.

“I have heard a lot of commentaries about this game with Great Olympics. It is, indeed, a big game for the fans. They want the bragging rights because they are in the same city and that traditional rivalry has been with them for a while but for me, I look beyond the fans and what they think or believe.”

“As a coach, my focus is just to claim the three points and then later, we look at the fanfare that follows. It will make the fans happy but for me, the points mean more to me. It is a big opportunity to pick three points to support my title ambition.” 

Speaking to the Times Sports ahead of the Accra derby which will see rivals, Accra Great Olympics lock horns with a resurgent Hearts of Oak side at the Accra Sports Stadium tomorrow, Papić said his ambition was to win the league and would attempt to ‘clear’ any impediment on his way.

“Winning the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League title is a target I have set for myself. I know that may sound strange for many but it remains a possibility. I won’t compromise on that. My players are aware and are with me.”

“I expect them (Olympics) to come at us fiercely because they need a win against us. Winning against us is not common; so they will cherish one but we will deal with whatever they throw at us. Usually, we take the matches as they come but this is a special game for the players and fans. The players would want to come and enjoy themselves we are focused on what needs to be done to win the game and that is it.”

Papic will be happy to have Abdul Manaf Umar back into the team after serving a suspension.

However, two of the trusted midfielders of Hearts, Kwadwo Obeng Junior and Emmanuel Nettey will face late fitness tests to determine whether they can be part of the match day squad.

Failure to get them ready will leave the 60-year old Serbian trainer with limited option in midfield.

Papic may also miss one of his leading strikers, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh who is currently in camp with the national U-20 national team, the Black Satellites preparing for the upcoming CAF U-20 AFCON.

But that is not a bother for Papić who is happy for the striker’s opportunity to be with the national team for the championship.


“We are going to miss him, but a club like Hearts of Oak must have a replacement for him, and we would have one in his absence.”

He called on supporters of the two sides to come out in their numbers and support the teams to make the game exciting like what they anticipate, assuring Phobia fans that there was no need to panic because Hearts would win the three points.”

BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY

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