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Ranieri says shoring up Fulham’s leaky defence now priority

Finding a way to plug Fulham’s leaky defence is now the priority for the English Premier League side’s new manager Claudio Ranieri.

The Italian took over a team at the bottom of the standings on five points from 12 matches, and the task now is how to stop a downhill fall.

Claudio Ranieri

The 67-year-old replaced Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday after Fulham, who have conceded a Premier League-high 31 goals this season, lost patience with the Serb.

Ranieri says the entire team needed to pull together to escape their plight.

“As an Italian manager, for us the defensive way is the best for the team,” the former Chelsea and Roma manager who masterminded Leicester City’s fairytale title win in 2016, said in an interview on Fulham’s website.

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

Ranieri’s title-winning season at Leicester was built on a solid defensive platform with a squad willing to scrap for every point.

The Italian is keen to instil similar values at the London club.

“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,” he added.

Fulham host fellow strugglers Southampton on Nov. 24 after the English Premier League resumes following the international break.


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