Ghana and Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien says is poised to help the Black Stars secure the ticket to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Black Stars have final duel against Egypt on November 19 in Cairo recording a resounding 6-1 against the Pharaohs on October 15.
Speaking on the Ultimate Sports programme on Asempa FM, Michael Essien revealed he is back for good to help the team reach greater heights.
Question: Were you nervous to return to the Black Stars after suffering injuries when you played for Ghana?
Michael Essien: I want to put my injuries behind me because those are the past. I want to move ahead and think about the way forward and my future.
Question: Are you back with a bang for the Black Stars?
Michael Essien: Yes of course, I am back for good. I am back to help the Black Stars reach a greater height. Feelings at the Black Stars are great. I am very happy to join this wonderful squad.
Question: When are you joining the Black Stars squad for the Egypt duel?
Michael Essien: I have already packed my bag and baggage and I will join my team-mates later in the evening.
Question: You played so well in your comeback games against Zambia and Egypt. What was your motivation?
Michael Essien: It all goes down to hard work. The players at the Black Stars squad are doing well so I had to step up my performance at training so that I?ll be picked. I knew I had to work hard to get back into the lineup and I perfectly did so. I asked Coach Kwesi Appiah to start me from the bench against Zambia and against Egypt he decided to put me in the starting lineup because he realised I was ready to start.
Question: It seems you didn?t show respect to the Egyptians because of your higher pressing and robust style of play against them?
Michael Essien: We respected Egypt. They are a good side so we decided to put up a good performance and that resulted in the 6-1 scoreline.
Question: Are you afraid to play in Egypt?
Michael Essien: I am not afraid or scared of the Egypt team. But I am frightened to play in Egypt because of the on-going fights over there. We have nothing to do about that because we are told to play in Egypt and we will do just that.
Question: You gave an incisive pass that resulted in Ghana?s first goal against Egypt. You also created the second goal by dribbling pass two defenders. Did you intend to score the goal yourself or you wanted to give a pass?
Michael Essien: I wanted to score myself. That was my plan. But I realised the Egyptian defenders and goalkeeper were all over me. So I decided to pass to my teammate who was at a better position to score.
Question: Away to club football, Are you worried of not getting regular playing time at Chelsea?
Michael Essien: I am not worried to sit on the bench at Chelsea. I am an experienced player to cope with this situation. I will continue with my hard-work and training and I hope my time will come to start games for Chelsea.
Question: Do you have any grudge with Jose Mourinho?
Michael Essien: Never. I am going on well with Mourinho. There is no problem.
Question: Is it true Mourinho told you not to play for Ghana?
Michael Essien: This is not true. Mourinho has never asked me to not to play for Ghana.
Question: Your final words to Ghanaians who accompanied you lay your father to rest?.
Michale Essien: I thank everybody who helped me in my father?s final burial rites. God bless every Ghanaian. I promise to come to your studio to have a one-on-one interview with you.