Head coach of the Black Stars, CK Akonnor says despite the tough fixture ahead of them, he is still confident and expectant of a good performance from his side without core members of the playing body.

The Black Stars held their final training session in Ghana on Tuesday ahead of their trip to South Africa to face Bafana Bafana on matchday five of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Akonnor will be without influential figures such as the Ayew brothers and Arsenal’s Thomas Partey.

However, Akonnor insists he is prepared despite the unavailability of his key players for this week’s crucial encounter.

“Well, we were aware from the beginning that it will be difficult, whether we will be able to get them we don’t know but we are aware that the possibility is there that we will not go with them so we prepared ourselves in case we are without them. But should they come in, it will be fantastic,” he said in an interview with Joy Sports.

About 10 players from the Ghana Premier League will be making the trip to South Africa for the qualifiers this week and Akonnor could not hide his excitement on giving home grown players the chance to show what they are made of.

“I’ve said from the beginning that I am going to give the home based players the chance and i think it’s clear. For a long time now we have not had these numbers so I am very very happy that we have been able to achieve that not just me but because the boys have also shown their qualities and we have given them a fair chance,” he concluded.

The Black Stars could book a ticket to next year’s AFCON should they secure a win against South Africa on Thursday, March 25, 2021.