Sascha Riether is itching to make his Fulham bow in Saturday’s opening-day encounter with Norwich City.
Riether, who arrived at the Club this summer on a season-long loan from FC Cologne, is battling it out with Stephen Kelly for a starting role in the Craven Cottage clash with the Canaries.
And - if selected - German international Riether will be giving his all in a bid to get the Whites’ 2012/13 campaign off to a winning start.
“For us it’s important to have a good start and to come good during the season and to win the first games,” he said. “It’s not important the team we are up against, for us it’s important to think about ourselves and how we play against the team so we have to concentrate on our performances and how we handle ourselves on the pitch.
“In Germany we say, you need workers on the pitch, you can’t only have ‘kings’ on the pitch. I know my job and I know how I can play and I will work hard for the other players. I always played for the other managers I had and I was always important for the teams because I worked hard, which many people might not have seen but the managers did notice - and that’s how I see my place in the team.
“It’s important for defenders to defend but the Manager wants me to attack too and make good crosses so it will be important for me to have some action in the offensive side of the pitch.”
For someone who has played his entire career in Germany, Riether could be forgiven for needing a bit of time to settle into life in London.
The 29-year-old, however, has quickly adjusted to his new surroundings.
“London is a beautiful city and Fulham is a good Club and for me it’s a big honour to play here at this Club and to play in the Barclays Premier League,” he said. “We all wait for Saturday for our first game and my first game in the Premier League and I hope it will be successful.
“I know Martin Jol, he was manager at Hamburger SV and so he asked me if I wanted to come to England and for me it will be a great experience, not only in football but in life too. It will help me in my future and for me it’s a big step and I think I will enjoy it.
“In Germany we love the Premier League and we watch the games on TV. I spoke to some players before coming here like Edin Dzeko and asked him how the Premier League is and he said that it will be a big difference in that it is fast and you don’t have time to turn as defenders are always on your back. He says it’s a faster game.”
After a season in charge of the Whites, how does Riether see Fulham progressing under the Dutchman?
“In Hamburg he was very successful, the team played very good football and they finished second in the Bundesliga,” mused Riether. “I wanted to work with him and I hope that we play good football at Fulham like he did in Germany.
“The training sessions are organised, everyone knows what to do and he speaks a lot with the players in a quiet way, not shouting. He explains things well to the younger players too.
“There are some new players and he told us that he wants to play a little bit different, a different style than the other managers before so he needed some players and some changes and for me it’s a good thing to be part of it and I will try my best to be successful.”