Manolev Pleased To Play

Friday 24 May 2013 09:00

On-loan defender Stanislav Manolev says he was delighted to be given a chance to play for Fulham this season after making his debut in unusual circumstances.

The 27-year-old arrived from PSV Eindhoven on a six-month loan spell on 31st January and made five appearances for the Whites, primarily as a back-up for Sascha Riether.

But the Bulgaria international was called into action for the first time against Norwich City on February 9th, when he was only told he was playing on the morning of the game because of illnesses to Riether and Chris Baird.

Manolev took a taxi up from London to plug the defensive gap, but never had any reservations about taking his place in the starting XI.

"The best moment for me was when I came here," he said. "It was a surprise for me to make my debut against Norwich, but I played to a good level and I was pleased because that is my job. They called me into the team late, but for me that was not a problem because I love to play.

"It was not difficult to jump straight in because my mentality is that I am not scared of anyone and I always know that I can do well."

The defender was a key part of the defence that kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw at Carrow Road, but he had to make do with a bit-part role behind Riether, who was voted the Players' Player of the Season, for the remainder of the campaign.

"Some games I am happy with and some games I am not, because I know that I can play better," he admitted. "It always happens like this though, so I try to focus on the positives and do my best.

"The best game that I played was against Arsenal, although we lost 1-0. I was unlucky not to get a goal and it was tough playing against 10 men, but we played well and had a lot of chances."