Team News

Thursday 22 November 2018 14:30

Claudio Ranieri was giving little away with regards to team selection in Thursday’s pre-Southampton press conference.

“You know I’m the tinker man, but I tinker cleverly,” he smiled. “It’s important to maintain, more or less, the same line-up for some matches, but I need everyone available, and then I can choose.

“I have to be fast to choose the best team to fight and get points. I know my job is hard, but I have confidence in myself and in my players.

“To choose players in good form, it’s important to speak to Scott Parker and others to understand what feels right or wrong.

“It’s important that all my players are available, because maybe I’ll start with one line-up and make a couple of changes.

“In Leicester, I started without [N’Golo] Kante, without [Danny] Simpson and without [Christian] Fuchs, and slowly, slowly, it got good.

“Then, while I choose the first XI, it’s important that the other players don’t get down – they’ll have an opportunity.”

Ranieri will be without central midfielders Kevin McDonald and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa for the visit of the Saints, but could have Joe Bryan at his disposal after the left-back rejoined the group last week.

“He’s training, yes,” our Manager confirmed. “He’s trained every day, training very well, and I’m thinking also about him because he’s a good player.

“He’s a very ambitious player and I believe in this guy. I don’t know if he’s ready to play 90 minutes, but he’s ready for my concept about football, my idea about football.”

The Italian was also quizzed on the goalkeeping situation at the Club, with Marcus Bettinelli, Sergio Rico and Fabri all holding the jersey at some point this season.

“Fulham has three very good goalkeepers and, for me, that’s better, because whoever I choose, I will have chosen well,” Ranieri explained. “Let me think until Friday night. I will choose my XI the night before the match, so I have the chance to reflect.”

Ahead of his first game in charge, you could win a Home shirt signed by Claudio Ranieri. Simply predict the score and first Fulham goalscorer for a chance to win.

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