Former Manchester City and Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce says Fulham’s home form must improve significantly if they are going to avoid Premier League relegation this season.
After just one league win from 12 attempts, Fulham owner Shahid Khan gave Slavisa Jokanovic the boot and replaced the Serbian with ex-Leicester City chief Claudio Ranieri.
The Italian tactician led the Foxes to a shock Premier League title in the 2015/16 campaign but he has a very different challenge on his hands as he aims to pull the Cottagers away from relegation trouble.
Fulham are rock-bottom of the table with just five points and welcome fellow strugglers Southampton to Craven Cottage on Saturday in what is already being described as a six-pointer.
The west Londoners have won just one home match in the league this season and Pearce says the club’s results in their own backyard need to see a substantial improvement.
He told Sky Sports News: “They’ve got to start winning at home, that’s key, nicking results at home. At the moment, too many teams are going to Craven Cottage and coming away with points and they’re failing to win.
“If you want to stay in the division, you’ve got to be strong at home.”
Fulham are 2.60 favourites to pick up the win in Ranieri’s first game in charge, a draw is priced at 3.30 whilst the Saints are a 2.80 chance to come away with the win.
Southampton are on a five-game winless run heading into the contest and have failed to win away from home in their last four league matches.