Manager Reaction

Saturday 22 December 2018 17:30

Claudio Ranieri was pleased with the Christmas present of a clean sheet and a point from Fulham’s trip to Newcastle.

The Whites put in a resolute display at St James’ Park to earn a 0-0 draw, and on another day could have taken a win back to London.

“I am happy,” Ranieri said. “I am happy because we gave to them just one chance in the first half. In the second half they created some threat in our box, but they never shot at our goal.

“And in the second half we created four or five great chances to win the match. But the draw is okay for us with the first clean sheet and we must continue in this way.

“We played well the first half, [in] the second we lost possession of the ball but we created more chances.

“The second half was a battle, we knew it would be a physical match. We reacted very well, responded very well.

“The questions put to us, we answered very well, and also on the counter attack we created great chances.”

Ranieri opted for a switch in formation with Denis Odoi, Alfie Mawson and Tim Ream making up a back three, a decision that paid dividends.

“One point is important, the clean sheet is important,” he stated. “And now I start to think about Wolverhampton because I watched their match last night and Wolverhampton played fantastically.

“For me it was very important to see how my defensive three react, and they reacted very well. It was good to see them keep possession, make some good actions.

“We’re at the bottom of the league, so we’re not so positive or with a lot of confidence, but I’m sure we’re getting better.”

Despite the point gained, goal difference keeps Fulham at the bottom of the Premier League.

But when it was put to him that the team in 20th on Boxing Day end up relegated, Ranieri was defiant in his response: “It’s not true. We’ll be safe at the end, don’t worry.”

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