English Premier League Sport

Ranieri replaces Jokanovic as Fulham boss

Claudio Ranieri has been named Fulham’s new manager, replacing Slavisa Jokanovic.

Jokanovic’s dismissal comes after Fulham could only manage one win from their opening 12 Premier League matches since their promotion from the Championship, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table.

The Italian’s first game in charge at Craven Cottage will be at home to fellow Premier League strugglers Southampton on November 24.

In the space of three days in early December, Ranieri will face the two clubs he has previously managed in England, Chelsea and Leicester City, where he famously won the Premier League title in 2016.

In a statement, Ranieri, said: “It is an honour to accept Mr. Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history.

“The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed.

“This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table. I know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage.”

In total, Ranieri has managed 17 different sides, including Napoli, Juventus and Inter Milan in his native Italy, as well as Valencia and Atletico Madrid in Spain, and even a short, unsuccessful spell with the Greece national team.

Until leading Leicester to an unlikely title, Ranieri had an unwanted record of never winning a league title as a manager.

The 67-year-old finished second with Chelsea, Juventus, Roma and Monaco, but silenced his critics in bringing Leicester their first league title.

Ranieri is expected to bring a backroom staff of four or five assistants and coaches with him to Fulham.

Scott Parker, who became part of Jokanovic’s backroom staff in July, is expected to remain as part of Ranieri’s backroom team.

Jokanovic was appointed at Fulham in 2015 and delighted fans with an attractive brand of attacking football and a return to the Premier League after four years away.

During their promotion-winning campaign last season, Fulham enjoyed a 23-game unbeaten run under the Serb’s management.

Shahid Khan said: “I wasn’t anticipating having to make this announcement related to Slavisa and wish the circumstances were such that I didn’t have to, but our path this season has led me to make what I know is the correct decision, at the right time, for our players, the club and our supporters.

“Slavisa will always have my appreciation and respect for everything he did to return Fulham to top-flight football.

“I am hoping everyone in the Fulham Family shares my heartfelt sentiments for Slavisa and joins me in wishing him success and good fortune, wherever his next stop may be.”

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