John Arne Riise has set his sights on a new deal at Fulham after regaining his place in the side under Rene Meulensteen.
The Norwegian left-back, 33, will be out of contract in the summer and his future appeared uncertain after struggling to hold down a regular spot in Martin Jol’s team earlier in the season.
However, he has returned to favour since the appointment of Meulensteen and insists he would love to remain at Craven Cottage.
Riise’s main interest is playing as much as possible and he hopes to be a key part of the manager’s plans for the rest of the campaign and beyond.
Who will your team make a move for this January? Check out Sky Bet’s latest odds in their Transfer Specials here. “Rene has been brilliant for me,” Riise said in the London Evening Standard. “As soon as he came in, I said to myself that he is my type of coach.
“The way he takes training and the way he talks to the players, I knew that he was good. He has given me the confidence that I need from a manager to perform to my highest level. He put me back in the team and I have been in there since.”
“I have always been committed to the club, even when I was not playing. The reason I wanted to leave is because I was not playing and I had to think of my career.
“I am at the age where I need to play. The Fulham board know I want to stay. Hopefully we can talk about a new deal because if Rene wants to keep me on, then I want to stay.”
Riise is proud of the way he kept working hard when he was on the fringes of the team, but admits it was a difficult time.
He recalled: “I went almost four months without playing and that is very frustrating for a player who has played almost every game his whole career.
“I could have moaned and not trained well but I kept my head down and worked hard. I have got that enjoyment back now and really love playing football here.”