Former Newcastle United manager sacked after ‘very difficult’ AFCON campaign

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Chris Hughton remains a respected figure on Tyneside due to securing an instant Premier League return in 2009-10 - where he went on to thrash local rivals Sunderland 5-1 at St James' Park

Chris Hughton has been axed as Ghana manager following a disastrous African Cup of Nations campaign.

The Black Stars crashed out at the group stage after picking up just two points from their opening three fixtures. While Ghana drew with Egypt, one of the pre-tournament favourites, they were also held by Mozambique and lost to Cape Verde.

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The draw against Mozambique knocked both nations out and left Ghana - who boast West Ham United star Mohammed Kudus in their ranks - with no choice but to pull the trigger. Former Newcastle United boss Hughton opened up about a “very difficult” AFCON at the full-time whistle.

“Things are very raw right now,” he told reporters. “There is a commotion outside and it is an angry place at the moment. But when you are unable to see the game through, it becomes very difficult.

“Our performances have not been good. We played three games, conceded two goals in each game and have ourselves in a difficult situation.

“We had a group of players that really wanted to do well but the performance and results in these three games were not good enough. My impact on the team can only be judged by the results.

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“This was the best opportunity we had to do well. We’ve had the players for a long period now to train together and we anticipated we would grow stronger the longer we went in the competition, but the fact is we haven’t. My assessment of my results is that they haven’t been good enough.”

A statement from Ghana’s FA confirmed Hughton’s departure, with no thanks or gratitude shown to the 65-year-old. The ex-Toon boss, who is half-Ghanaian, was originally appointed as technical director in February 2022 before assuming managerial responsibility last year.

“The Ghana Football Association wishes to announce that Chris Hughton has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the senior national team with immediate effect,” the statement read. “The executive council has also taken a decision to dissolve the technical team of the Black Stars. The Ghana Football Association will in the coming days provide a roadmap on the future direction of the Black Stars.”

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