Share this story
Claudio Ranieri praised his Fulham players for adapting to a new system as they kept a first clean sheet of the season to earn a point at Newcastle on Saturday.
The Cottagers were the only team among English football’s 92 professional clubs not to have kept a clean sheet this season prior to this at St James’ Park.
Fulham remain four points from safety and bottom of the Premier League pile going into Christmas Day, but Ranieri felt it was a positive display on Tyneside.
“It’s the first time I’ve tried to play with three centre-backs and the players responded well,” said Ranieri. “They were very solid against a physical team. “I’m happy because every point we achieve is good.”
Fulham were keeping their first clean sheet in the Premier League in 22 games, since winning 1-0 against Norwich back in April 2014 and Ranieri insisted it was ‘important’ for them. “It is very important for us.
First half maybe we created more play and had possession well, but they had a very big chance,” he added. “Second half we lost control and they were dangerous, but we had four or five chances on the counter-attack, so at the end I’m happy because every point we achieve is good.”
His side will seek to build on the result come Boxing Day when fellow promoted side Wolves come to Craven Cottage.
Fulham are 3.25 to win that game, while Wolves are favourites at 2.30 and the draw can be backed at 3.30.