Ranieri happy to tinker
Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri insists he will do his best to ‘tinker clever’ as he tries to find the formula needed to keep the team up.
The 67-year-old is set to take charge of his first game after replacing Slavisa Jokanovic during the international break.
Fulham owner Shahid Khan described Ranieri as a ‘risk-free’ appointment during his unveiling but he has some serious work to do.
The Cottagers have lost their last seven games in all competitions and also have the worst goal difference in the Premier League.
Ranieri is still described as the ‘Tinkerman’ following his spell with Chelsea but he silenced some of his doubters by guiding Leicester to the English title in 2016.
Fulham are yet to name the same defenders in a game this season but Ranieri insists he will make the right changes when needed ahead of the clash with Southampton.
He told reporters: ‘I am ‘Tinkerman’ but I tinker clever. It’s important to maintain the same line-up for some matches, but you never know. I want everybody available and then I can choose.
‘A long time ago, the journalists call me ‘Tinkerman’ because I change a lot. But I changed a lot because it was the last year in Chelsea and we brought the players at the start of the season and we continued to buy players.
‘Of course, I had to change something. I didn’t have a friendly match and then for this reason you say ‘oh, he changes a lot, changes a lot, changes a lot’. And then it was for this reason, I changed it with intelligence, not just to change.
‘This week I work hard and they (the players) follow me very well, but it’s not possible in very few days to arrange everything. It’s important to play, play, play and never give up.
‘I hope to maintain the clean sheet and then if we can score, it’s much better. It’s crucial on Saturday for us and Southampton.’