August 2, 2021

Hearts of Oak coach Papic primed for Asante Kotoko rivalry showdown 

Spread the love

The Phobians boss sees not much difference between his side and their arch-rivals ahead of their Ghana Premier League showdown 

Hearts of Oak coach Kosta Papic believes his team are on par with Ghana Premier League leaders Asante Kotoko despite an inferior position on the standings ahead of their upcoming clash.

Ghana’s two biggest clubs, the two teams are bracing up for a matchday 14 showdown at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Whereas Kotoko lead the table with 23 points, Hearts find themselves eight places below on the ninth position with 17 points.

“I don’t think Kotoko are playing better than Hearts of Oak at the moment. We are playing good football but just lacking the goals,” Papic told Nhyra FM.

“The problem with Hearts of Oak is we are creating chances but the team is unable to score the goals.

Papic was appointed Hearts coach in December with a task to lead the club to GPL glory for the first time since 2009.

It is the Serbian’s second stint with the Phobians, his first coinciding with Hearts’ last league success.

“My target is also the same, to win the league when the bad results are coming, But like I said if we find the winning formula we are going to catch those people who are ahead of us,” Papic added.

“The difference is not big. The gap is not strong which is meaning we still have a chance. If we do a proper job, we are going to catch everybody and be in the position to fight for the title.”

It has certainly not been a smooth ride for Papic, whose second reign has so far produced a string of topsy-turvy results.

“We are looking to strengthen the Hearts of Oak team in the transfer window. We will receive the scouting reports tomorrow for the list of potential players we could buy,” the former Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs boss said.

“We need to strengthen the defence, midfield and striking zones during the transfer window but it it’s all about the availability of the players I want.

“It is not about what I want and it is not about what we need, it is all about available players. I cannot do anything if the player is not available.

“Whichever player I want that is not the issue. I want [Barcelona ace Lionel] Messi, but unfortunately, he is not available and I tried [Juventus star Cristiano] Ronaldo and he told me he cannot come.

“Let’s not joke about it, try to understand what is going on. If the player is free and is fitting to the style, fitting the level of the club, in that case, we are going to sign him but if we don’t find that kind of player, we are going to continue with the available players.”

Hearts are 19-time GPL champions; only Kotoko has more titles.