Thursday 23 February 2012

Riise relishing west London derby day

Norwegian defender cannot wait for Fulham to face rivals QPR on Saturday

Fulham's John Arne Riise fires in shot, but the Norwegian is yet to score for the Cottagers

Fulham defender John Arne Riise says he cannot wait to play in Saturday's west London derby against Queens Park Rangers.

The Norwegian featured in his first London derby in October, when Fulham thrashed QPR 6-0 at Craven Cottage thanks to an Andy Johnson hat-trick.

On Saturday, Fulham make the short trip to Loftus Road, and Riise is relishing the chance to take on their local rivals once more.

"QPR is one of the biggest derbies so I'm excited and the fans are as well"
- John Arne Riise

"The atmosphere in that match was beautiful, it was brilliant," Riise told Fulham's official website. "We played very well, everybody was up for it and I could feel that was a big derby for the team and for the fans.

"Everything we did went in and 6-0 is a big result, but I have a feeling it will be a harder game on Saturday.

"The Fulham fans are really up for this game because they feel QPR is one of the biggest derbies so I'm excited and I know the fans are as well.

"I just want the three points to be fair - I hope we can go there and play a good game, do what we can and play at our highest level and if we do that then we have a chance to win."

Riise has played 23 Barclays Premier League matches for Fulham this season after joining in the summer from Italian side AS Roma.

And he says the Cottagers, who are 12th in the table and face Wolves and Aston Villa after QPR, are hoping to push on and secure a top-10 finish come May.

"This is a good chance to push on and consolidate our place in the top half of the table," added the 31-year-old.

"Every game is hard but certain ones you feel you should go into and have a good chance of winning and with these next three games we should have a good chance of winning them all.

"But in the Premier League there are no easy games so we'll have to play well to give ourselves chances to win points and if we can get some points from these three games we'll be looking good in the table."

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Key Points

  • Fulham travel to QPR for west London derby match
  • John Arne Riise looking forward to taking rivals on
  • Riise knows it is big occasion for Fulham fans