John Arne Riise says Fulham are unconcerned by their lowly league position and believes the club have the squad to challenge for honours sooner rather than later.
The Norwegian left back, 31, was new manager Martin Jol’s first signing when he took over at Craven Cottage and adds an experienced head to the younger squad that Jol is trying to build. Despite a disappointing start – with just two league wins leaving the Whites hovering above the relegation zone – Riise says there’s no lack of belief at Motspur Park.
There is a sense that, with this group of players, Fulham have the potential to win something.
I know the manager wants a young team but I like to think those players can learn from my example.
Martin is an excellent boss and they can only improve under his guidance. If I can help in any way, I will. I’m a very honest player and, even at 31 now, I am always trying to improve.
I’m usually one of the first to arrive at training and amongst the last to leave. That’s a commitment I make, not just to myself as a player but to the club, too.
Riise hopes to follow in the footsteps of skipper Danny Murphy, also facing his former club tonight, who has flourished at the Cottage in his thirties.
Craven Cottage is a place where players seem to thrive. Danny is a great example and, even at 34, he is showing how important he is. He’s a real example and as long as I can keep myself fit I want to make a similar impact.