Ranieri: I needed to come back


Watch Ranieri’s first Fulham press conference around 3pm on Friday on Sky Sports News and follow our live blog on the website and app

By Liam Grace

Last Updated: 16/11/18 10:26am

Claudio Ranieri (left) took charge of his first Fulham training session on Thursday

Claudio Ranieri (left) took charge of his first Fulham training session on Thursday

Claudio Ranieri felt that he “needed to come back to England” after being announced as Fulham’s new manager on Wednesday.

The 67-year-old Italian was sacked at Leicester in February 2017, just nine months after leading the Foxes to the Premier League title at odds of 5,000-1.

Ranieri is set for his first full press conference as Fulham manager around 3pm on Friday, live on Sky Sports News, while it will also be blogged on the Sky Sports website and app.

2:31
Sky Sports News takes a look at Claudio Ranieri's funniest moments during his title-winning spell as Leicester boss

Sky Sports News takes a look at Claudio Ranieri’s funniest moments during his title-winning spell as Leicester boss

However, speaking to Fulham’s official website, he said: “I felt I needed to come back to England.

“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.

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

“Craven Cottage is amazing. 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.

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

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Tony Gale says Claudio Ranieri will make Fulham more disciplined and will improve their chances of avoiding relegation

Tony Gale says Claudio Ranieri will make Fulham more disciplined and will improve their chances of avoiding relegation

Ranieri, who managed Chelsea between 2001 and 2004, has already met the Fulham players after taking charge of his first training session at Motspur Park on Thursday.

He says his priority upon taking over at Craven Cottage is to sort out Fulham’s leaky defence which has seen the club slip to rock bottom in the Premier League table, with one win in 12 games, conceding 31 goals in the process.

Danny Higginbotham told Sky Sports News that Fulham have gone backwards since winning the Sky Bet Championship play-off final last season and has backed Ranieri to get them out of trouble.

Fulham approached former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger before appointing Ranieri, while ex-boss Slavisa Jokanovic claims he could have “turned things around” before his sacking on Wednesday.

Ranieri’s first game in charge will come after the international break at home to fellow strugglers Southampton, before games against two of his former clubs, Chelsea and Leicester.

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