Cotterill: Fans will love new boy

Bjorn Helge Riise will go straight into the squad for tonight's clash with Peterborough
Bjorn Helge Riise will go straight into the squad for tonight's clash with Peterborough
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Bjorn Helge Riise has been tipped to become a new darling of the Fratton faithful.

Steve Cotterill hailed the flexibility the Norwegian international’s emergency loan arrival from Fulham will bring ahead of tonight’s clash with Peterborough.

Riise will go straight into Cotterill’s squad for the meeting with Posh at Fratton Park.

The Pompey boss has made it clear he is still looking for two further additions, but doesn’t see any arrivals coming through the door until after the international break, at least.

Cotterill is pleased to have landed Riise after the 28-year-old caught his eye while on loan at Sheffield United last season.

The Blues manager believes Riise – who can operate in centre midfield and on the right – will bring the versatility and depth he has been looking for to his midfield.

Cotterill said: ‘He’s a good footballer, a bundle of energy and has played for his country 30-plus times.

‘He’s fit, strong and a bright footballer. He gives us good flexibility.

‘We kept our eye on him last year when we did well at Sheffield United.

‘We know we may have to chop and change the team in the coming games. We have a busy period coming up.

‘The size of the squad was 19 before he came in, including Marko (Futacs) and Ryan (Williams), who I don’t anticipate playing massive parts this season.

‘And we don’t have (Luke) Varney and (Dave) Kitson at the moment, so that leaves us with 13 outfield bodies.

‘In the Championship it would be difficult with that.

‘But with players like Riise it helps when they are versatile.

‘His versatility will help us. He’s equally comfortable on the right or in the middle. He could probably play on the left, too.

‘He’s trained with the players. He’s been as good as any we’ve had on their first day in training.

‘We’ve got him until the first week in November, with a view to doing it longer.

‘He’ll come in and be fine for us.

‘He’s a good team player. The fans will like him.

‘He’ll need a game or two to settle in but the fans will like him, for sure.’

Riise is looking forward to bringing something different to the equation to what Pompey currently have in their side.

He has been impressed with what he has seen from Cotterill’s squad, and is now hoping to be a creative presence for the Blues.

Riise said: ‘I jumped at the chance to come here. Hopefully I’ll play regular games and try to bring something different to the side.

‘It’s a team full of great players – I could see that from my first training session here.

‘But hopefully I can earn a place in the side and then use my ability to create some goals.’

Cotterill is unsure what money is now left for players, if anything.

He is looking to get the next two games out of the way before learning if he has any room to manoeuvre to bring in further emergency loan deals.

Cotterill said: ‘I’ve said all along we need a defender, midfielder and striker. That’s what we need.

‘It’s not too much to ask for. One of them will be more expensive than the others because he’ll be a forward.

‘I don’t know whether there’s anything left (in the budget for signings).

‘I think that will be it until the break now. Then we need to take a deep breath and see where we are.

‘We can then see how Dave Kitson is and how we are with the others.’