Fulham defender John Pantsil has backed new manager Mark Hughes to lead the club back into Europe.

Pantsil is convinced former Wales, Blackburn and Manchester City manager Hughes can build on everything Roy Hodgson achieved at Craven Cottage before he left for Liverpool.

Against remarkable odds, Hodgson guided Fulham from the brink of relegation to the Europa League final in the space of two and a half seasons.

"I have said many times that Roy Hodgson was someone that made me the player that I am today, and for 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. I would love to see the club push as close as they can for a top six finish."

He added: "I'm looking forward to seeing how this team evolves under his guidance.

"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.

"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 complete their pre-season preparations against Werder Bremen at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

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Topics:
Europa League
John Pantsil
Fulham
Football
Premier League