Portsmouth's manager Grant gestures before their EPL soccer match against Burnley at Turf Moor in BurnleyAvram Grant saw his new Ghana side get off to a losing start at the African Cup of Nations on Monday, though remains optimistic that his side can qualify for the group stages of the competition.

Taking charge of the Black Stars for the first time in a competitive game, Grant’s side got off the perfect start in their Group C opener against Senegal when Andrew Ayew converted from the penalty spot in the first half.

Senegal drew level through Mame Biram Diouf, before Moussa Sow struck in the final minute of injury time, meaning Ghana can’t afford to lose their second group game against Algeria on Friday.

Speaking to Ghanafa.org, Grant said: “It was a difficult match for us. We were playing against experienced and very physical players.

“When we played the ball along the ground it was good. We opened the scoring and had good chances.”

Now looking ahead to the game against Algeria, he said: “We don’t want this result that has happened but I’m sure as you saw the players showed good mentality and we hope it will be the same next game.

“But we knew that if we lost nothing would be decided.”