Claudio Ranieri: Fulham boss calls for 'soldiers' in relegation battle

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri on the sidelines
Claudio Ranieri has won three of 13 Premier League games since taking charge of Fulham in November

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri says his team need "soldiers" to help them avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Whites, who were promoted from the Championship last season, are seven points from safety with 13 games of the campaign remaining.

"We know where we are, we know it's very tough and we need soldiers who fight until the end," the Italian said.

"We are ready to fight. I have to motivate them and give my positivity to our players."

Former Chelsea and Leicester boss Ranieri, 67, took charge at Craven Cottage in November after Slavisa Jokanovic was sacked.

Fulham were bottom of the Premier League when they parted company with the Serb, three points off 17th place, but Ranieri has been unable to lead a sustained recovery.

The west London club have won three of their 13 league games under Ranieri, with all of those victories coming at home, and are 19th.

Bottom of the Premier League

But Fulham have lost four of their past five league games and host a resurgent Manchester United on Saturday, with the Reds having won seven and drawn one since Ole Gunnar Solkskjaer was appointed interim manager following Jose Mourinho's sacking.

"It's much better to play at home than away," Ranieri said. "It's very important to achieve points against this team."

United face Paris St-Germain the following week in the last 16 of the Champions League, but Ranieri is not expecting them to take their eye off the ball when they travel to the capital.

"Big teams are used to playing match by match," he said.

"They will be very focused on Saturday, before thinking about PSG.

"They have so many good players. We must concentrate, be strong and show our personality during the match."