Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah has admitted his side are in a critical situation in the World Cup qualifiers but insisted they will still fight in Saturday's clash against Uganda to keep their slim hopes alive.
Ghana are third in Group E with five points, four adrift of leaders Egypt and two behind second-placed Uganda. They aim to beat Uganda and hope Egypt do not defeat bottom side Congo if they are to have a chance to reach next year's Russia finals.
"Everyone knows the difficult situation we find ourselves in the campaign," Appiah was quoted as saying by Ghanasoccernet on Tuesday.
"On paper, and given the determination of the team currently in the lead, it looks impossible for us to qualify, but in football, anything can happen.
''That is why we are not giving up yet. We still have something to fight for and we will do just that. We need to be better placed for everything."
The 56-year-old explained his reasons for dropping a handful of stars from Ghana's squad for the Uganda clash.
Ayew brothers, Jordan and Andre, were left out of the game while skipper Asamoah Gyan, striker Thomas Agyepong, and US-based duo Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah will all miss the game due to injuries.
''When Uganda played us in Tamale, they were able to read through our game plan and their coach said we were predictable," Appiah added.
"The changes made for the game in Kampala is to help us carry out our game plan without our opponents figuring out what we intend to do.
''That is why we have the changes, but not because there are any other issues."