November 23, 2018 / 5:10 AM / 17 days ago

Ranieri to 'tinker clever' as Fulham seek survival

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Fulham - Claudio Ranieri Press Conference - Craven Cottage, London, Britain - November 16, 2018 New Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri poses on the pitch Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

(Reuters) - New Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri intends to “tinker clever” as he seeks a winning formula to preserve the west London club’s Premier League status.

During his spell as Chelsea manager from 2000-04, Ranieri earned the nickname ‘Tinkerman’ due to the regularity of changes the Italian made to his starting lineup.

Fulham, however, are in desperate need of stability, having yet to field the same starting lineup for consecutive league matches this season.

“I am Tinkerman but I tinker clever,” Ranieri told reporters ahead of bottom side Fulham’s league clash against Southampton on Saturday.

“It’s important to maintain the same lineup for some matches but I want everybody available and then I can choose.”

The 67-year-old was described as a “risk-free” appointment by Fulham owner Shahid Khan when he replaced Slavisa Jokanovic earlier this month, with the club on five points after 12 league matches and on a run of seven losses in a row overall.

The Italian, who won the Premier League title with Leicester City in 2016, is planning to wipe the slate clean at Craven Cottage and focus on starting his tenure with a tight defensive display this weekend.

“I show to them some videos from the previous game and I said what is right and what is wrong,” he added.

“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. I hope to maintain the clean sheet and then if we can score, it’s much better.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien

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