John Paintsil: Coach Chris Hughton needs our support
Former Black Stars player John Paintsil has asked Ghanaians to rally behind Coach Chris Hughton to be able to build a team worthy of competing for honours at the next Africa Cup of Nations.
The Ghana gaffer has come under intense criticism following the Black Stars’ recent uninspiring form of play, including their recent defeat to Mexico and the USA during the FIFA International break last week.
But the former Fulham star believes it is early days yet to criticise the coach or call for his head to roll since his appointment was recently made and he needed time to put things right.
After playing seven matches since taking over as the Black Stars coach, the former Tottenham boss can boast of three wins, two draws and two defeats. However, Paintsil told Graphic Sports in an interview that Hughton had a great record while coaching in England and must be encouraged.
''So far, his appointment time is short. However, looking at the results he has achieved since he took over, I think it’s acceptable. What we need to do is to support him, especially football people who understand the game.
''Hughton is an excellent coach. He has done it in England and coming to Ghana and considering the players he invites, tells you he knows what he wants to do for the nation. So, for me, he is good. So far, I will say he is doing well, and we need to support him,” he urged Ghanaians.
When Paintsil was asked whether Hughton could lead the Black Stars to win next year's AFCON in Cote d'Ivoire with how he was handling the team, he said the tournament was open for anyone to win and our chances of winning will be determined by how well we prepare.
''The AFCON is open for any team, and I believe that Ghana stands a chance. However, we need to prepare well and take things one at a time and not think that we have arrived and will beat everybody. We need to be disciplined and respect our opponents,'' he observed.
The 43-year-old was pleased with the quality of players the nation had and believed if Coach Hughton was able to work with them well, then he had a better chance of breaking the country's four-decade trophy drought at the continental showpiece.
''I believe with the kind of players we have, they can be smart and take the trophy. So, Hughton has a huge chance of going for the ultimate for Ghana,'' Paintsil noted.