By 90Min
November 23, 2018

Claudio Ranieri says that he is still 'the Tinkerman', but has vowed to 'tinker clever' as he aims to bring about a change in Fulham's Premier League fortunes.

The Italian is preparing to take charge of his new team for the first time on Saturday as the Premier League's bottom side host Southampton at Craven Cottage.

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The nickname 'Tinkerman' was bestowed upon Ranieri during his time at Chelsea, when he was famous for making changes to his team on a weekly basis.

Fulham are yet to field the same defence in any of their 12 Premier League matches and although Ranieri plans to live up his moniker, he has acknowledged that it is 'important' to maintain some consistency.

"I am Tinkerman but I tinker clever," said Ranieri, quoted by Sky Sports News. "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."

Ranieri's last job in England saw him lead Leicester City to an implausible Premier League title win in the 2015/16 season against odds of 5000-1.

After the Southampton game, Fulham's next two Premier League fixtures are against Ranieri's former clubs. The Cottagers visit Chelsea on December 2 before hosting Leicester three days later.

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