MTN FA Cup on SuperSport: Why Duncan needs Sunday’s win for validation

first_img“I lose no sleep when people talk about the facts that I have not won the league. If you are going to go back into your archives or annals and find out of the types of cups I have won, it is the type of cups that no quarter is asked for and no quarter is given.”This was David Duncan’s assessment of critics lashing out at him for not winning a single league title.But is he justified? And what will his first FA Cup triumph do for him? Ahead of Kotoko’s FA Cup final against Medeama on Sunday, is the trophy worth much more than he’s letting on?It is undeniable that coaches are judged by the trophies they win. And, more importantly, the type of titles they win. This has been the main critique against Duncan for these years.In his 13 years as manager, he’s won the 2006 SWAG Cup with Ashantigold and 2013 Presidents’ Cup with Hearts of Oak on Ghanaian soil. In addition, he won the Macufe Cup in 2006 with Ashantigold and Phakisa Cup with Free State Stars all in South Africa.These trophies are not by any means belittled, but none can be compared the FA Cup or Premier League (even though the competitveness of the league has been questioned by many.)Duncan is yet to win a cup which has more than four teams involved.The SWAG Cup was a one-off final against Kotoko, while the Presidents’ Cup was a four team tournament which included Medeama and TP Mazembe.In South Africa, the experienced trainers’ Macufe Cup triumph was realized in another four team tournament which included Sundowns, Blomfontein Celtic and Hearts of Oak. In his other trophy with the South African side, the tournament was also played amongst four teams which included Bloemfontein Celtic, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.His stint with the national team has been topsy turvy.While with the Starlets, he managed to reach the final of the African Championships only to lose in unceremonious fashion while their World Cup campaign was abysmal – three draws and a subsequent group stage crash.His stint with the national under 23 team, the Black Meteors, will quickly be forgotten by the man himself as attempts to qualify the team for the London Olympics were quickly dashed as they fell to Sudan. He was later replaced by Kwesi Appiah who won gold with the team in Mozambique.His accusations of the league seem very harsh considering 30 matches are played over the course of the season.Are a bulk of the fixtures not played in a good sporting spirit? Duncan placed second twice with Ashantigold during his stint with the Obuasi side.Are those also not valued by Duncan?Duncan may have all the genuine reasons to doubt the credibility of Ghana’s league due to unscrupulous dealings but the FA Cup represents his biggest opportunity to put all his critics to bed. The Kotoko coach has been part of the rise to fame of great players in the country notably Mubarak Wakaso, Sadat Bukari, Opoku Agyeman, Jonathan Quartey and David Telfer but needs a “major” trophy to full cement his place in the hearts of fans.A win on Sunday will not only give Duncan his first cup win in a competition comprising more than four teams but it will also represent a major feather in his cup as he is fast building a reputation of saving clubs who go through adversities during the course of a season. Ahead of the gameDuncan is not expecting an easy game in the August 30 final “It obviously won’t be an easy match. We don’t expect it to be easy. If you have all players available, then of course you can go into the game with some degree of confidence that, you have a good chance of winning it,” he said.For preps, the Reds played Bechem United earlier this week. Ahmed Toure scored a beautiful late goal to save Kotoko from losing 1-0 Duncan said the game was to give players who haven’t been too regular the chance to be active.“It’s one of the avenues through which we wanted to look at players who haven’t been too active. These are not the kind of times to experiment; so when you get the opportunity, you want to have a look at them and plan.”“There are players who are coming from a long layoff for various reasons. A player like Michael Akuffo went on trials and since his return, the team that has been playing and has been gelling,” he noted. “There seems to be some understanding between the players who have been playing. The partnership that has existed between Jackson and Kwadwo Poku has been good,” said Duncan.“There is going to be a time that we might need Akuffo so these are some of the ways by which you must get him to be in sync with the team.“Others have been quite busy for this game, so we rested them. We’re going to come back strongly to prepare for the cup final.” There are currently no real injuries to report and Sunday’s final should be special.–CLICK TO READ: Analysis – Are Kotoko FA Cup kings or chokers? –The FA Cup final will be live on SuperSport channel 209 on SUnday. Kickoff is 4pm. Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img

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