May 16, 2021

Fulham are not supposed to be in the Championship – Paintsil

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The Cottagers gained promotion back to the English to-flight after just a season’s absence

Former Fulham defender John Paintsil has exclaimed the Championship was not the level for the Cottagers after their extra-time promotion play-off final win over Brentford at Wembley on Tuesday.

Scott Parker’s charges finished the regular season in fourth place with 81 points, the same as the Bees in third but with an inferior goal difference. They were just two points shy of automatic promotion.

They saw off Cardiff City in the playoff semis 3-2 on aggregate with DR Congo international Neeskens Kebano scoring in both legs, as well as Anglo-Nigerian Joshua Onomah in the first.

It marks an immediate return to the Premier League for Fulham after they were relegated during the 2018-19 season, finishing 19th, 10 points away from safety.

“The players played well and I was delighted with how they were able to hold the lead until the final whistle. This qualification means a lot to the whole community and London”, Paintsil told Happy FM.

“Fulham is not a team that is supposed to be in the Championship, their level is the Premier League considering the laurels and achievements the club has.”

Paintsil went on to commend Parker, who played for the Cottagers between 2013 and 2017, citing his experience in the top-flight as crucial to leading the club.

“The club must get an experienced coach like Roy Hodgson but Scott Parker has played in the Premier League and so he will have the experience to guide the team in the Premier League”, he added.

Paintsil was on the books of Fulham between 2008 and 2011, playing more than 80 times, one of which included a run to the 2010 Europa League final where they lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid after extra-time.

The 39-year-old Ghanaian also had stints with Leicester City and West Ham United. He spent time in Israel as well with Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv, winning the Israeli Premier League with the former in 2003 and the Israel State Cup in 2006 with the latter.

Paintsil’s career winded down in South Africa with Santos and finally Maritzburg United in 2016. He was briefly assistant coach of Kaizer Chiefs during the 2016/2017 season.