Pantsil excited over Fulham future
Fulham defender John Pantsil is aiming for a top-six finish under new manager Mark Hughes.
The Ghana full-back is convinced Hughes, who will be officially unveiled by the club tomorrow, can build on everything Roy Hodgson achieved at Craven Cottage. Against remarkable odds, Hodgson guided Fulham from the brink of relegation to the UEFA Europa League final in the space of two and a half seasons.
Hughes, the former Wales, Blackburn and Manchester City manager, has now taken over the reins at the club and Pantsil is convinced Fulham will only go from strength to strength. "I have said many times that Roy Hodgson was someone that made me the player that I am today, and that I am very grateful. But we have to move on - this is what happens in football," said Pantsil.
"The appointment of Mark Hughes is a very exciting one, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this team evolves under his guidance," he went on. "He's a very good manager and I think most of the players have come up against his teams in the past and from those experiences we know that he has a lot of quality. He's someone that commands a lot of respect and is tactically very astute.
"It's not long now until the new season gets up and running. This will be my third as a Fulham player and I'm very excited about what could unfold," Pantsil added. "It will be a challenge, but for me I would love to see the club push as close as they can for a top-six finish. I believe in this squad of players and we have shown before what we can achieve as a team. I know that people will say that it will be difficult, but we have to be ambitious and have belief in our ability - otherwise what is the point in going out there?"
Fulham have won one and drawn three of their pre-season fixtures, with Pantsil making his return from 2010 FIFA World Cup™ action in the weekend defeat to Portsmouth.
Pantsil made a late return to training after helping Ghana reach the quarter-finals in South Africa. "It has been a long summer for me - one that came on the back of a very demanding season," Pantsil told Fulham's official website. "I feel good though. It was good to be back and despite the result it was a game I very much enjoyed. It was just important for me to be wearing a Fulham shirt again."
Fulham complete their pre-season preparations against Werder Bremen at Craven Cottage on Saturday.