Accra Hearts of Oak head coach Frank Nuttall admits it is just good to be in the final of the MTN FA CUP and be in a good situation to win the cup.
The Phobians finished third, despite a three-point deduction, in the just ended 2016/17 Ghana Premier League season and they have the opportunity to end the campaign with silverware when they face Kotoko in the finals of the MTN FA CUP.
And coach Nuttall says his side are well prepared going into the game but reveals difficulties in making up his final squad for the match.
“Preparations have gone well as expected. The boys are focused on the training so straightforward [we are ready],” the Hearts head coach told accraheartsofoaksc.com
“I have just spoken to the players and explaining that is the hardest part when you are a coach – the decisions about who to leave out [in a cup final]. Sometimes you know it is not easy because we have got a good group so that is not easy but you have got to make tough decisions and somebody has got to make them and it is me so I have got to do it.”
Hearts have faced Kotoko four times in the 2016/17 season. The Phobians have two wins to their name but record a single defeat to the Porcupines with one game ending in a draw. But the Hearts head coach expects a tough game despite the slight advantage over Kotoko, who finished two places behind the Phobians.
“I think it is going to be a very tough, tough game. It is a cup final and a one-off game against our biggest rivals so of course Kotoko are going to be pushing as well so it is going to be a tough game,” Nuttall said.
Hearts will be making their 14th appearance in the finals of the FA Cup but they are making a first return to the grand finale for the first time in 17 years. Nuttall could become the first coach to end our eight-year wait for a major trophy but the Scot is not looking at a place in history, just yet.
“It is just good to be in a cup final,” he said.
“At the end of what I would regard as a relatively good season when you take into accounts all the problems that have occurred to us with regards to match officials and shenanigans that have gone on with the league. It is just good to be in the final and it is good to be in a situation where we have got a chance of winning the FA Cup on the final day of the season so we have managed to keep our season going to the end.
“We have got a good team. If they perform the way they can perform to their ability level as individuals and as a team, we will do well.”
Asked whether he could promise Hearts fans of the trophy come Sunday, Nuttall said: “I cannot promise anything other than the fact that myself, my technical team, and the players will be trying our best.”
He concluded, on his message to the fans: “I am hoping they are going to enjoy the day, enjoy the weekend; travel safely. Do not drive too fast; do not take risks. Come and give us support and make sure you get to Accra safely or wherever you are coming from.”