Michael Oti Adjei
BBC Sport, Accra
Paintsil joined West Ham after an impressive outing at the World Cup
Ghana defender John Paintsil admits he might have to leave West Ham United to save his international career.
Paintsil joined the Hammers from Hapoel Tel Aviv last year but has endured a miserable spell at the club, playing just five times in the Premiership.
Now with the 2008 African Cup of Nations approaching in Ghana, Paintsil says he is weighing up his options.
Paintsil told BBC Sport: "I want to play, it's as simple as that. It is a difficult situation for me."
"I want to be playing for Ghana in every game and fight for the red, gold and green colours.
"But I know that club form is important so all I can hope is that I can rectify that in the coming season.
"My future is important and I can't end up like this.
"I am hoping that everything works out well even if I don't get the opportunity at West Ham."
Despite enduring a difficult first season in England, Paintsil is impressed with coach Alan Curbishley's support.
"Alan Curbishley talked things over with me and has assured me the club will take my interest into great consideration in whatever decision they make about me," Paintsil said.
"He set my mind at ease with that conversation but it is has been a very difficult situation for me.
"The money I earn at West Ham is about a 1,000 times what I had in Israel but that means nothing if I am not playing.
"Sometimes I sit on the bench watching games and wonder why I do well at training and never get to play.
"I just chose to focus and keep training so that when the chance comes, I won't disgrace myself.
"I can't sit down and complain all day so I rather put more hours into training and make sure when I get the opportunity I won't blow it."