Claudio Ranieri eager to improve Fulham’s defence


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Claudio Ranieri says his top priority will be working on Fulham’s defence after taking charge of the Premier League strugglers.

The Cottagers opted to replace Slavisa Jokanovic with Ranieri after picking up just five points from their opening 12 games, leaving them bottom of the table.

Fulham have conceded 31 Premier League goals already and former Leicester and Chelsea boss Ranieri is eager to oversee big improvements at the back.

He told the club’s website: “As an Italian manager, for us the defensive way is the best for the team.

It is important to have a strong vision of the defence – not just the full-backs or goalkeeper, all the team.

“For me, team spirit is important but I know there is a good group. The fighting spirit is very important. I hope our fans push us and we need their strength. We need their support always. We will never give up.”

Ranieri guided Leicester to the Premier League title in 2016 and spent last year with Nantes in France, but departed after just one season.

Fulham host relegation rivals Southampton in their next Premier League match on November 24.

The Cottagers, who are 1.50 to be relegated, are 2.70 to secure a win in Ranieri’s first match in charge. Victory for Southampton is available at 2.70 and the draw is 3.25.

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