Mortagbe explains why Hearts will not miss Afutu & Awako against WAC of Morocco in Caf Champions League


The Phobians former chief has ruled out any real threat that the players absence could create as they prepare to face the North African club

Hearts of Oak former managing director Neil Armstrong Mortagbe insists the absence of midfielders Gladson Awako and Benjamin Afutu will not have any adverse effect on the club ahead of their cliffhanger encounter against Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco in the Caf Champions League.

The Phobians are hoping to qualify to the group stage of the competition for the first time in several years but head coach Samuel Boadu will have to do it without the duo due to reasons beyond his control.

Awako is battling with illness and has been out of the team for almost a month while Afutu rejected a contract extension proposal made by the club. He is currently in Egypt to broker a deal with a top-flight side according to reports in the local media.

The Phobians defeated Guinean side CI Kamsar in the preliminary round and will host WAC at the Accra Sports Stadium on October 22 before they travel to Morocco for the reverse fixture.

“Gladson Awako will be a very good addition to any clubs in Ghana and Afutu proved to be very key part of our success story last season but as a person who has been in football for several years, I always say that you need to make the best or the most of what you have and so usually I don’t look at what we don’t have,” Mortagbe told GL Radio in China.

“I look at what do we have, who do you have and how do we sum up the courage and energy of those that we have to achieve the results that we want to achieve.

“When Messi left Barcelona they started all over and everybody was waiting for Ansu Fati to get back. He comes in and quickly he scores and it goes on to show that in the absence of Afutu, a player like Salim comes and he is fitting in the squad very smoothly.

“It is about the coach to work with what we have. Without them Hearts defeated Kamsar so I don’t see why the confidence level that the team has today will not push them to have a good game against Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco,” he added.

Hearts won the competition in 2000 and has since failed to make a meaningful impact since then.


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