Guinea in upbeat mood ahead of opener

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The Glasgow Celtic man arrived with the rest of the Guinea squad in Accra on Wednesday and said the West Africans have had the ideal preparations for the competition.

“We are happy to be here,” he says. “We had a very good training camp, the mood in our camp is high and the team is high on confidence.”

Balde said the Guinea side is aware that the opening game will be a difficult encounter, but is convince his side can get something out of it.

“The whole stadium will be behind Ghana, they are playing at home so it will be a tough game. Ghana is a very good side, but we are confident we can do something.”

Balde says winning the tournament may be asking too much of his side though.

“I don’t know about winning the tournament. Let’s see how the opening games go. We are just happy to come here and improve on our last showing in the competition.”

Guinea were quarterfinalists at the 2006 Nations Cup, where they lost to hosts and eventual winners Egypt. Their best performance was in 1976 when they finished runners-up in Ethiopia.