Jol denies rumours of rift with Fulham defender Riise

The Norwegian was left out of the squad for his side's 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday afternoon, but his manager insists there has been no falling out between them
Fulham defender John Arne Riise is still part of the club's plans according to manager Martin Jol, despite reports of a rift between the pair.

The 32-year-old was left out of the Cottagers' 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday, with Jol using Kieran Richardson at left-back before bringing on Matthew Briggs.

Riise has not started a game for the south London side since Boxing Day, but the Fulham boss insists the Norwegian had just been given the weekend off.

Jol told reporters: “John [Arne Riise] stayed at Motspur Park and did an extra training session because I promised him that if he's not starting, it's better that he doesn't go with us.

"I wasn't happy after the Liverpool game, when Stewart Downing scored his first goal since he joined Liverpool and John was playing against him, so I tried something to freshen things up and alert him. I want to challenge all the players."

Riise’s brother, Bjorn Helge, recently claimed that his sibling came to blows with the Fulham manager, but the 57-year-old played down reports of any such altercation.

The Dutchman added: “John Arne Riise is a fantastic boy so he wouldn't ever come up with this sort of thing.”