Ranieri: Fulham players need flexible presence

New Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has insisted his players need confidence in their fight against relegation from the Premier League.

Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri   -  Getty Images

New Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri insists his players will need to be nurtured but also receive a robust appraisal if they are to survive the threat of relegation.

The 67-year-old replaced Slavisa Jokanovic earlier this month with Fulham at the bottom of the Premier League table, having claimed only one win in its opening 12 fixtures.

Ahead of Saturday's match at home to Southampton, the Italian revealed his demeanour must be flexible to get the most out of his playing group.

"In the dressing room, I am different. It depends what happens," Ranieri said. "Sometimes I could take this table and flip it in the air.

"Sometimes I enjoy, sometimes I am very strong. My players know me. My players know me very well."

Asked if he will flip a table during half-time with Fulham - after revealing he did so while in charge of Chelsea - Ranieri insisted this initial stage of his task does not call for bombast.

"With them? No. With these players, no. Not yet. Not yet," he said. "At this moment, I must give confidence. I say our fans must help us, it is because our players need confidence.

"They need to feel good feelings with the fans because, maybe, they are a little anxious, nervous. That is normal."

Fulham has yet to keep a clean sheet since its return to the English top flight, and more than anything, Ranieri is looking for stability and desire at Craven Cottage.

"My plan is to maintain good football but without conceding goals. Maybe it is not possible at the beginning, but it is important to maintain clean sheets," he said.

"We have to fight. Our fans must understand that, at this moment, we have to fight. Our fans must be happy when they see their players fighting on the pitch, win or lose."

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