Martin Jol insists he has suffered no falling out with John Arne Riise, despite the defender missing a trip to Manchester City.
Fulham travelled to the home of the reigning Premier League champions on Saturday without their Norwegian left-back.
Riise has now failed to start a game since Boxing Day, with Jol favouring other options.
It has been speculated that the former Liverpool man has incurred the wrath of his boss after refusing to take a place on the bench and could be on borrowed time at Craven Cottage as a result.
Jol, though, insists that is not the case, with Riise merely given the weekend off.
He said: "John Arne Riise is a fantastic boy so he wouldn't ever come up with this sort of thing.
"Matthew Briggs is younger and can stay on the bench. John stayed at Motspur Park and did an extra training session because I promised him that if he's not starting, it's better that he doesn't go with us.
"I wasn't happy after the Liverpool game, when Stewart Downing scored his first goal since he joined Liverpool and John was playing against him, so I tried something to freshen things up and alert him. I want to challenge all the players."