Top 10 Target

Thursday 7 March 2013 13:18

After the point at Sunderland moved Fulham up to 10th in the table, John Arne Riise is out to ensure the Whites finish the campaign in the top half of the Barclays Premier League.

Fulham’s improved form has seen the Whites steadily climb the division and the 2-2 draw at Sunderland saw Martin Jol’s men move into the top half for the first time since November.

And Riise is keen to see that recent run continue as Fulham attempt to finish the season on a high.

“There are seven points between us and West Bromwich Albion in ninth which is a big gap,” Riise told the official website. “I think the most important thing is to keep going as we are. We haven’t lost for a while now and we’re performing better as a team.

“We’d definitely be happy to finish in the top 10 as we had that spell where we were struggling a few months ago and couldn’t get a win.”

It could have been even better than a draw for Fulham at the Stadium of Light, with the Whites leading 2-0 through Dimitar Berbatov and Sascha Riether, only for the Black Cats to hit back and take a share of the spoils.

“Those are the type of games you feel you have a chance of winning, especially when you go 2-0 up,” said Riise. “We expected to win from that point as we were playing well and were in control of the game.

“But in the last 15 minutes we didn’t play our best and we lost our shape a bit so we were happy to take a point after that.

“Before the game, we’d probably have taken a point but we were all disappointed afterwards to have only got a draw.”

Riise’s fellow full-back Riether got his first goal for the Club when he tapped home from close range after a typically lung-busting run from one end of the pitch to the other.

“Both me and him like to get on the counter attack from opposition corners and free-kicks,” said Riise. “If the goalkeeper gets the ball, we’re quick to get forward as we can smell the chance of an attack on the other goal. Sascha did well to get down the left-hand side and tap it in and I almost did the same in the second half.

“As a team, we have two very offensive full-backs and I’ve been impressed by Sascha. He doesn’t make many mistakes and gives 100 per cent in every game.”

While Riether got off the mark for the Whites, Fulham fans are still waiting to see Riise’s name on the scoresheet.

“So am I!” he smiled. “I don’t think I can get any closer than I have in the last year and a half. But I’m feeling good and I think once I get that first goal, I’ll get a few more quickly after that. I just need that first one and I’ve had a friendly bet with a few of the boys that I will score before the end of the season.”