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Sep 14, 2012

Ridgwell eager to keep Berbatov quiet

West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell is eager to ensure that Dimitar Berbatov's Fulham home debut passes without the Bulgarian dazzling the Craven Cottage faithful.

Ridgewell and his Baggies team-mates know that Berbatov, 31, is determined to make an impression following the departures of Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele from the London club.

It has been suggested that Berbatov's £4 million move to the Cottagers could be the bargain of the summer as the former Manchester United striker aims to prove Sir Alex Ferguson wrong for allowing him to leave.

Berbatov has been forced to wait to make his presence felt because of the international break - and, if the striker makes his full debut, Ridgewell wants to keep him waiting for a while longer.

"Fulham have a lot of good players, but I am sure he is the one who people will be especially watching," Ridgewell said.

"He's a new face, but everyone knows about him and how good a player he is. You do not play for Manchester United and not be a good player.

"Even though he looks like he's laid back, I don't think Sir Alex Ferguson would have had him at Manchester United if he was a laid-back player."

Berbatov made a low-key debut for Fulham as a substitute in the 3-0 defeat at West Ham, but Ridgewell has painful memories of how effective he can be.

His last encounter with Berbatov ended with the Bulgarian scoring a hat-trick for United against Birmingham City in 2011. "It is sometimes worrying because suddenly he spurts into life, scoring a hat-trick," said Ridgewell.

"So you've got to keep your wits about you. They have a lot of good players at Fulham, and we will all have to be on our game to make sure we stop them."

As well as the threat of Berbatov, history is against Albion, with their previous win in the league at Craven Cottage coming when Jeff Astle and Tony Brown scored in a 2-1 success 45 years ago.

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