Ranieri: Unfinished Business

Friday 16 November 2018 06:00

Despite having a Premier League title on his CV, Claudio Ranieri feels he still has unfinished business in England.

The Italian masterminded one of football’s greatest ever triumphs three seasons ago, when he guided Leicester City to glory at odds of 5,000-1.

Now, though, a new challenge awaits.

“I felt I needed to come back to England,” Ranieri told fulhamfctv in his first interview since his appointment.

“I went abroad last season to finish my story, but my feeling for English football is so strong that I felt I had to come back.

“When I met Mr Khan, [I saw] he is an ambitious man and a good Chairman, so I want to give him what he desires.

“I hope we can be safe this season and then from there we follow the way of our Chairman and his son to try and grow up and become stronger.

“What I’ve achieved is in the past. I always look forward and want more, I hope to do a very good job.”

Ranieri is a regular visitor to Craven Cottage – a ground he holds in high regard – and admitted his surprise at the Whites’ struggles this season.

“Craven Cottage is amazing,” he enthused. “When I first arrived here I thought, ‘Wow!’ It is a story in itself.

“Often I came to watch matches at Fulham because of my love of football. I came to the very first game of the season against Crystal Palace.

“Fulham showed very good football and it was unbelievable how they conceded two goals. Often this season Fulham have conceded too many goals.

“As an Italian manager, the defensive way is the best method of the team. It is important to have a strong vision of how to work defensively.

“It’s not only the full-back, or the goalkeeper. When you attack, you attack as 11, when you defend, you defend as 11.”

Despite our position in the table, Ranieri has seen enough in his squad to suggest we can reverse our fortunes this season, starting against Southampton next Saturday.

“There is plenty to work with here,” he explained. “I watched some games against Manchester City and Liverpool and the quality is high here.

“There is a good group here and fighting spirit is very important. Southampton are a good team but it is important to be prepared.

“Now we have to think about what we can do to improve the team. Then we think about other things from there.

“I hope our fans can push behind us. We need the strength of all the fans because we need their support. We will never give up.”

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