Riise backs Fulham to progress

PA Sport
John Arne Riise
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John Arne Riise

John Arne Riise believes Fulham will win their all-important Europa League encounter against Odense if they are on top of their game.

The Cottagers face Odense on Wednesday night in their final Group K game knowing victory will secure their place in the knockout stage. Wisla Krakow will be hoping to capitalise on any potential Fulham slip against the Danish side, who are already out of the running and lie bottom of the group.

The west Londoners won the away tie 2-0 and Riise said: "I think every competition and every game is important."

He added: "The Europa League is going to be interesting now after the Champions League last week, with both Manchester teams now in and Valencia and stuff. It is a big competition and obviously we want to win the games, but at the same time we're also thinking about the Premier League.

"But now I'm focusing on the game on Wednesday and after that game, we'll see how it goes and focus on Bolton on Saturday. We go into the game hoping to win. I don't know the team yet so I don't know what the manager is thinking, but everybody wants to play.

"We want to win and get a good feeling going towards the weekend. We're meeting a side that is struggling in the Europa League, but at the same time we know they have the quality to hurt us if they play at their best.

"We have to be on top of our game, but I just want to play as much as I can - enjoy it, get in a rhythm and if you are rested sometimes that is fine as well. I just do whatever the manager tells me to do and I have always done that."

Fulham come into the match on the back of a 2-0 defeat at Swansea and amid speculation over a reported rift between between Bobby Zamora and manager Martin Jol.

The pair's relationship has been a topic of debate in recent months and was fuelled further by the striker's omission from Saturday's match.

Asked if he was aware of any issues between them, Riise said: "First of all I haven't read the papers. Tuesday was the first time I trained since the weekend and he trained normally and as far as I am concerned I had no clue. He looked smiley and happy so if there is any rift I don't know about that."

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