Martin Jol plays down reports of a rift with John Arne Riise
Fulham manager Martin Jol has denied reports of a rift between himself and defender John Arne Riise.
Last Updated: 17/01/13 8:04pm
It had been suggested the two had been involved in a training-ground altercation, with Riise's brother, Bjorn Helge - himself a former Fulham player - quoted in the Norwegian press criticising Jol's managerial style.
But Jol, 57, feels his relationship with 32-year-old Riise has only deteriorated slightly as a result of the Norway international being dropped from the Cottagers starting line-up.
"My relationship was fantastic and is probably still okay, it is still good," he said. "You know as well as I do that it is the same all the time in England, if a player isn't playing the reason is a bust-up, but I never had a bust-up with any player."
Jol explained that the decision to drop John Arne Riise followed a number of poor results and that he expects the former Liverpool man to work hard to regain his place.
"I wanted to change a couple of things after the Liverpool game and that is what we did," added Jol. "He will fight for his place like any other player would do if he isn't playing."
With Keiran Richardson and Matthew Briggs as options at left-back, Jol admits Riise may leave Craven Cottage but he will leave that decision up to the player.
"That is speculation unless there is a club coming in for him, and I told him I have got a few other options there, if he is doing better in certain areas he will be a very good player for me and if not I have got other options," added Jol. "Obviously players want to play and if he is not playing the next couple of weeks it is up to him (if he wants to leave)."
Jol also revealed that Bjorn Helge Riise had contacted the club to deny making the alleged inflammatory remarks about the Fulham boss.