Kotoko: Barreto aims dig at Anabila in call for attitude change
"If I was on the bench, I would have made the substitution after the 22nd minute, says the coach.
New Asante Kotoko coach, Mariano Barreto has demanded a change of attitude to the game from his players as he aimed a dig at that of star midfielder Latif Anabila over the weekend.
The experienced Portuguese trainer – who is in his second week on the job – could not lead the Porcupines in last Saturday’s Ghana Premier League draw at Eleven Wonders due to residence and work permit delays.
Analysing the performance of the team after being forced to watch the match from distance, Barreto says at a point the tram’s approach looked “disgusting” and likened it to tennis.
The gaffer observed: “I think we have many interesting players with good skills but we need to change the attitude.
“Even if we are not in good physical condition, our attitude should be different.
“We have to do more and in doing more, we have to show it. This is because this is what our jersey demands; this is what our supporters demand…”
Latif Anabila substitution
Bar a couple of shining performances, the midfielder, who joined the club at the beginning of the season, has had his attitude in games often criticized by close followers of the team.
And that appears to have already reared its ugly head as the less-impressed Barreto saying he would have yanked off Anabila long before he was substituted against Wonders.
“The midfield is the heart of the team and when the heart doesn’t work, you perform surgery. So this happens.”
“If I was on the bench, sure, I would have done it early because it is not acceptable losing the ball in the way some players were losing it.
“And the worse is not fighting to recover. Everyone, the biggest players in the world make mistakes. But when they make mistakes, they should be the first to solve the problems they themselves create.
“And for me, this [not fighting back for the ball] is unacceptable. So if I was on the bench, probably I would have made the [Anabila] substitution in the 22nd minute of the match,” Barreto said Tuesday.
Asante Kotoko are preparing to host Bechem United in a match-day 16 outstanding fixture on Wednesday. The game is their first at their new adopted home grounds – the Len Clay Stadium in Obuasi.