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Claudio Ranieri

'Pizza is not enough - they need McDonald's!' - Ranieri makes vow in bid to improve Fulham defence

10:25 SAST 2018/11/17
Claudio Ranieri Fulham 2018-19
The south Londoners have shipped 31 goals this season and are bottom of the Premier League, but their new boss remains optimistic

Claudio Ranieri is hoping the carrot of a trip to McDonald's will be enough to transform Fulham’s defensive fortunes.

The Craven Cottage club have shipped 31 goals in their 12 Premier League games this season and are rock bottom of the table.

Ranieri replaced Slavisa Jokanovic  on Wednesday after seven defeats in a row in all competitions.

During his title-winning campaign in the 2015-16 season at Leicester City Ranieri offered pizza to the squad for achieving their first shut-out of the campaign, which eventually came against Crystal Palace.

And the Italian hopes he can galvanise Fulham in a similar manner as they look to breathe new life into their season.

"Pizza is not enough now," Ranieri told the media at his unveiling. "I have to promise something more. It's better for everybody to go to McDonald's!

“I look always forward. I'm an ambitious man. I believe I have good players. Now I have to choose players who show me fighting spirit. 

“With quality, fighting spirit and unity, the players help each other."

Squad unity underlined Ranieri’s success with the Foxes, but he admits the prospect of turning Fulham’s fortunes around is an entirely different proposition.

And though the ex-Chelsea and Juventus boss wants to channel the same team spirit which led to Leicester’s success, he admits the challenge is significantly different.

“Fulham concede a lot of goals,” he added.

“I’m an Italian manager. For us Italians it’s important to maintain the clean sheet. 

“This team has enough quality to be safe. But I need fighting spirit too. Play football, play well. 

“But when you lose the ball I want to see you with an anchor, like pirates. I have fought for everything. 

“I am a fighter. I want my players to be fighters – that is it. It is simple.”

Ranieri will take charge of the Championship play-off winners for the first time on November 24 when they host fellow strugglers Southampton.