Claudio Ranieri has taken on a serious challenge in dragging Fulham out of a relegation scrap this season.
The Cottagers are currently bottom of the Premier League table with only a single win and an atrocious goal difference of −20 after 12 fixtures.
Having lost a seventh match on the spin against Liverpool last Sunday, Fulham owner Shahid Khan elected to axe the man who guided them promotion from the Championship last term - Slavisa Jokanovic.
His departure made way for Thursday’s surprise appointment of Ranieri, who inherits an underperforming squad that saw £100 million worth of signings added to it over the summer.
Speaking about the magnitude of the task at hand, the Italian expressed no doubt in his ability to steer Fulham back on course.
“After I arrived in Parma, at the end of the February 2007, it was the same,’ he said, per the Mail.
“I called my friends and they said: ‘You are mad to go there. Never. It’s not possible to save this team.’ And I saved the team.
“In my career, I also saved Cagliari. From Serie C to Serie A. People said Cagliari are out. I love this kind of battle. That’s my kind of character.
“I came here because I believe. I’m mad but not stupid. I think I can do this. It’s not easy. Nothing is easy but I believe.”
But how does a manager instil confidence in a side that’s lost nine games before the turn of the year?
Well, Ranieri has a clear strategy.
“I try to improve the fighting spirit of all my players,” he added.
“The players must show me this — heart. Now we have our family on the pitch. They must think this, ‘Our families are on the pitch and we have to save our family’.
“I will ask them how they want to save the family. It is clear. Very easy.
“Fulham concede a lot of goals and I’m an Italian manager. For us Italians it’s important to maintain the clean sheet.”
HOW RANIERI 'BLEW FULHAM AWAY'
The future of the west London club has the potential to be much brighter under Ranieri, particularly given how he conducted himself when interviewing for the position.
He identified where immediate improvements could be made and a club source told the Daily Mail: “Some of the others who were interviewed were unprepared but Ranieri was very impressive.”
The report claims: “Claudio Ranieri blew Fulham away with a detailed dossier of the club’s failing squad during his interview for the manager’s job.”
That just perfectly sums up the man affectionately referred to as the Tinkerman, doesn’t it?News Now - Sport News