Family Feeling

Wednesday 13 February 2013 16:00

Whites defender Sascha Riether has welcomed the addition of fellow right-back Stanislav Manolev to the Fulham squad.

Bulgarian international Manolev joined Fulham on loan until the end of the season from PSV Eindhoven on transfer deadline day, with an option of two further years.

And the 27-year-old was handed his Fulham bow in the weekend’s 0-0 draw at Norwich City after Riether was taken ill.

There were no debut nerves for Manolev in Norfolk as he produced a solid display at right-back in the Carrow Road fixure to help Fulham keep their first clean sheet in 12 games.

It means there is plenty of competition for places in SW6 and Riether told the official website: “It’s always important for a team that you don’t just have 11 players.

“We have more than 20 players here who can play and who want to play. It’s a long season and we have many games so it’s important that if players are out injured or suspended, we have others who can fit in without a problem.”

Riether had been ever-present for Fulham in the league this season, but was forced to miss the date with the Canaries after falling sick at the hotel ahead of the game.

It was a blow for the German, who has undoubtedly been one of Fulham’s best players to date this term since his loan switch from FC Cologne in the summer.

“Yes, it was frustrating,” said Sascha. “But I am fine now and will be available for selection against Stoke City.

“For me, it’s been a great time at Fulham so far. It was my first experience of another country and it was a big step for me to come to England. But I have to say Fulham is like a family and I like playing here. The fans are great, I like the stadium and it’s been all good so far.”