Claudio Ranieri has urged his Fulham players to replicate the kind of intensity and application displayed in the second half of the Cottagers’ 4-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday in order to survive in the Premier League.
The Italian suffered an emphatic defeat in his fourth game in charge of the west London side, but saw a much-improved showing from his team after going 3-0 down at half time.
Goals from Ashley Young, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford compounded Fulham’s defeat at Old Trafford, though a stronger second half showing saw the Cottagers pull one back from the penalty spot. As quoted by Fulham’s official website, Ranieri said of the match: “In the first half it was all Manchester United.
“They played very well with powerful qualities. We didn’t realise what happened.
“The second half was much better. We had the desire to try and play our best and we scored a goal.
“That moment again changed the match because from the first minute of the second half it was much better for us.
“We showed what we have to do if we want to survive in the Premier League.
We know first half wasn’t good enough but 2nd half we showed signs, we must keep believing and fighting until the the very end! 🙏🏿 On another note very proud to have made my 100th appearance for my boyhood club @fulhamfc. Thanks for your support, we go again next week 👊🏿 #FFC pic.twitter.com/s0wspLq8Ro— Ryan Sessegnon (@RyanSessegnon) December 8, 2018
“I said it to my players. If you play like in the first half it is the way to relegation. But if we play like in the second half we can survive. It is very clear.
“We have to react, we have to think about it and we have to have desire to be in the Premier League next season because nobody gives a gift.”
Fulham will look to bounce back at Craven Cottage next weekend as Ranieri’s side host West Ham in an important London derby clash in the Premier League. The Cottagers remain bottom of the table following Saturday's defeat.